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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Ceasefire campaign launches on campus, President Perez sends email on protests 

On Thursday, Chico State President Steve Perez sent an email to the campus community regarding activism on college campuses to draw attention to the Israel-Hamas war
Pro-Palestine banners put up on Butte Hall by Students for Justice in Palestine. Photo taken May 1, 2024. Photo taken May 1, 2024 by Molly Myers.

UPDATE: Chico State is aware of Students for Justice in Palestine’s demands, but said the student organization did not directly contacted them as of 12:18 p.m. today, Friday, May 3.

“No members of Cabinet have directly received any requests from SJP. However, because our administration is closely paying attention to the current climate on campus, they are aware of what the group is asking,” said Ashley Gebb, executive director of university communications. “Cabinet is always willing to have an open and constructive dialog with students.”

SJP is planning a “Walkout for Palestine” Monday May 5 from 12-4 p.m. Their Instagram post stated “DETAILS COMING SOON ‼️” as of 12:21 today.

An unidentified person was filmed removing pro-Palestinian banners and dropping them from the fourth floor of Butte Hall on Wednesday. 

The banners, hung alongside the Palestinian flag, read “academic cease fire now” and “disclose declare divest defend.” Hanging the banners was a part of the Chico State Students for Justice in Palestine’s ceasefire campaign.

As the unidentified person began dropping the banners, students gathered to watch and take photos. someone yelled that the banners were falling on students as they walked underneath. The banners were up for a few hours after going up around 1:30 p.m.

As pro-Palestinian protests are taking place across university campuses nationwide, Chico State has remained relatively quiet. Part of SJP’s campaign is a list of demands. If these demands are not met, SJP wrote they “are indeed prepared to escalate” in an Instagram post.

In the Instagram post, SJP collaborated with associate professor Lindsay Briggs to describe Chico’s lack of activism compared to other campuses as stemming from “insufficient administrative and community support.” 

“I was approached by SJP and asked if they could tag me in their posts to help expand their reach since they are a new organization and I have a lot of followers, including students,” Briggs said.

To help protect the identities of students who are protesting, Briggs is offering to act as a media liaison for SJP.

Their demands include:

  1. Disclose all institutional expenditures, including direct and indirect investments, stocks, bonds, hedge funds, and more.
  2. Declare the occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people as well as the U.S.-Israeli genocide in Gaza, illegal and indefensible.
  3. Divest from companies and partnerships that actively participate in the occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This includes financial and academic partnerships with institutions and programs in Israel, as well as institutional relationships with companies participating in the genocide in Gaza. 
  4. Defend all student activism and students, especially Palestinian, Muslim and Arab students, who have faced racist and Islamophobic harassment, ensuring full amnesty for protesting students.
Pro-Palestine banners put up on Butte Hall. Photo taken May 1, 2024.

“My heart goes out to the innocent people on both sides,” William Hinson, an electrical engineering major, said. 

Hinson said he was expecting protests to take place on campus. However, he said he was “surprised” by how quiet the campus has been and said he thought Chico State “kinda had a reputation for activism.”

“It is a tragedy what happened on Oct. 7, you know, innocent civilians indiscriminately fired upon and massacred,” Hinson said. “But I also think what’s happening right now with, you know, Gaza being reduced to rubble is, you know, just awful.”

Statement from the president 

On Thursday, Chico State President Steve Perez sent an email to the campus community regarding activism on college campuses to draw attention to the Israel-Hamas war.

In his email, Perez acknowledged the activism across the nation on college campuses.

“I respect the deep compassion and activism displayed by many within our campus community who are passionate about social justice and global affairs,” the email stated.

Perez also urged that students be understanding of one another’s experiences and to become familiar with Chico State’s Time, Place and Manner of Expression Policy.

This policy emphasizes freedom of expression while outlining rules for safety and respect on campus. 

“Antisemitic harassment and threats to Jewish, Israeli, Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian members of the campus community will not be tolerated,” Perez wrote in the email. “Nor will vandalism, graffiti, or destruction of property.”

Associated Students passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on Feb. 19. Perez mentioned this resolution in his email and called it “mindful discussion.”

Molly Myers and Grace Stark can be reached at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Molly Myers
Molly Myers, Managing Editor/Features Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.
Grace Stark
Grace Stark, News Editor
Grace Stark is a second-year majoring in journalism, news. She is from Loomis, a small town outside of Sacramento. This is her second semester on The Orion and she is excited to pursue her interests in writing and reporting as the news editor. Outside of school, Grace enjoys thrifting, reading, drawing and spending time with friends. She also has a small business online called Rings by Grace where she sells handmade spoon rings.

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