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Student encampments end at San Jose State University and University of San Francisco

The San Jose State student encampment opposing the war in Gaza, which had been in place for over a week as the school approached its commencement, came down this past week after a meeting between the protesters and school administrators.

The coalition of students leading the encampment took down their tents and canopies on Wednesday night around 7:30 p.m. It was the most recent encampment at a Bay Area university to be disbanded after such camps began popping up last month.

On Tuesday, the student encampment at the University of San Francisco also came down. However, students at Stanford University were continuing to camp Thursday in protest of the war in Gaza.

Students broke down the camp at San Jose State following a Monday afternoon meeting between representatives from Students for Justice in Palestine and some of the university’s administration, which included President Cynthia Teniente-Matson and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Mari Fuentes-Martin, said university spokesperson Michelle Smith McDonald. The camp was in place since May 13.

San Jose State officials said they follow the California State University system’s investment policy, which states that the CSU has “no direct ownership of stocks or bonds based in Israel.” They also stated that $3.2 million, or less than 0.04 percent of CSU investments as of March 31, were invested in mutual funds in Israel.

The student groups said in an Instagram post Wednesday that although they appreciated the progress made toward addressing their demands, they still asked the university to fully address all of their demands.

“This is not the end,” the students wrote in the post.

Roughly a day before San Jose State students took down their encampment, students at the University of San Francisco abandoned their 50-tent camp, allowing university staff to pack up the tents and abandoned belongings.

The encampment on Welch Field was in place since April 29. By May 13, the university committed to calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. USF also agreed to establish a Socially Responsible Investment Task Force, which will include at least one representative from the encampment.

The encampment ended Monday as USF staff packed unoccupied tents. Students who were in the process of decamping stated they were planning on leaving the same day.

In contrast, Stanford University students continued to camp Thursday and demand the university divest from companies and companies supporting Israel’s military offensive in Gaza and call for a cease-fire. Mark Cu, a reporter with the student newspaper Stanford Daily, said that the students are currently pressuring the university to drop the academic sanctions against students involved in the protest.

On May 13, the encampment at San Francisco State came to an end after 15 days, following an agreement between the protesting students and President Lynn Mahoney.

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