Campus police on standby following pro-Palestinian protest arrests at Stony Brook University

Students gathered for just over an hour on Thursday for a pro-Palestinian rally- a stark contrast from the scene on campus earlier this week.

News 12 Staff

May 3, 2024, 10:27 AM

Updated 20 days ago


Campus police are on standby and waiting to see if protesters will gather on Stony Brook University’s campus for a fourth straight day.
Students gathered for just over an hour on Thursday for a pro-Palestinian rally - a stark contrast from the scene on campus earlier this week.
Chaos erupted and 29 people were arrested after refusing to leave the area including a professor at the school.
Josh Dubnau is a professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology and behavior. Dubnau tells News 12 that he was at the pro-Palestinian demonstration to watch over the students.
Dubnau was critical of how the protest was handled by the school and said “The university frankly behaved in an appalling way by calling for 1 or 200, I don't know the number of state troopers and Suffolk County police, and they set those policemen upon our students and as a faculty members I felt it was my responsibility to stand with them and protect their safety. And I'm proud to have done that even though I spent the night in jail,” said Dubnau.
Dubnau said university police told him he was being suspended from campus, but Stony Brook University says “The faculty members arrested early Thursday morning have not been suspended or banned from campus. The university will continue to follow our policies and collective bargaining requirements when determining any further steps."
News 12 spent the day on campus Thursday speaking with students about how the events unfolded.
Free speech was the topic of conversation on campus.
“I’m glad that the administration is keeping to what they say. As much as I do support free speech and everything it became less an issue of free speech and more of an issue of hostility towards other students. Me and other Jewish students were harassed just by being in this area,” said Camryn Farahmandpour.
Another student said she is discouraged by what has happened.
“Some of my colleagues in my classes have been in the protests and you just find it discouraging they can’t really speak about what they want to speak about, they’re silenced, there were videos of their stuff taken away, it’s just kind of disheartening,” said Demytresse Brown.
The school president said in a letter that the protest had escalated to include “Intimidation and harassment of our students,” and that students had refused to vacate this area at a designated time and erected tents in violation of policy.
The president also said that Stony Brook will continue to be a place where free speech can flourish alongside civil discourse, and the freedom to pursue learning and research without fear or discrimination.

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