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RISD student demonstrators given 8 a.m. deadline to clear building occupation

Negotiations paused, RISD SJP rallies to resume Tuesday morning

RISD President Crystal Williams and RISD Provost Touba Ghadessi met with two representatives of the “building occupation” at 8:15 p.m. on Monday to discuss RJSP’s demands.
RISD President Crystal Williams and RISD Provost Touba Ghadessi met with two representatives of the 鈥渂uilding occupation鈥 at 8:15 p.m. on Monday to discuss RJSP鈥檚 demands.

The 24 Rhode Island School of Design students staging an occupation of the second hall of 20 Washington Place, better known as Prov-Wash, have been given until 8 a.m. Tuesday to clear out their demonstration, student protestors announced early Tuesday morning. Administrators have not announced consequences for remaining in the building.

The student demonstrators, led by RISD Students for Justice in Palestine, announced the deadline as negotiations between protest representatives and RISD administrators were put on hold. 

In a press release, RSJP wrote that they would not leave the building until Williams met demands for fiscal transparency around investments, 鈥渉olistic鈥 divestment from groups involved with 鈥渟ustaining Israel Apartheid,鈥 establishing a student oversight committee on investments, and publicly condemning Israel鈥檚 actions in Gaza as a genocide. 

RISD President Crystal Williams and RISD Provost Touba Ghadessi met with two representatives of the 鈥渂uilding occupation鈥 at 8:15 p.m. on Monday to discuss RJSP鈥檚 demands. More organizers entered the building at approximately 11:40 p.m.

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In their negotiations, RISD administrators expressed that the demonstration鈥檚 location 鈥 a studio classroom 鈥 would interfere with classes occurring Tuesday, according to RSJP Spokesperson Luca Colaninno.

Demonstrators were then given until 8 a.m. to determine 鈥渉ow the occupation will continue,鈥 Colaninno said. They noted that demonstrators are considering relocation to another area of the building, but currently do not have explicit plans to relocate. 

The meetings lasted for approximately six hours. 

Colaninno said that Williams and Ghadessi presented a proposal to the students, who did not accept it. They declined to share details of this proposal with The Herald. 

A spokesperson for RISD did not immediately respond to The Herald鈥檚 request for comment. 

A rally taking place outside the building disbanded early Tuesday morning, with plans to resume at 8 a.m. At the time of disbandment, there were approximately 75 students outside of the building.

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Tom Li

Tom Li is a Metro Editor covering the Health & Environment and Development & Infrastructure beats. He is from Pleasanton, California, and is concentrating in Economics and International & Public Affairs. He is an avid RIPTA passenger and enjoys taking (and criticizing) personality tests in his free time.


Avani Ghosh

Avani Ghosh is a Metro Editor covering politics & justice and community & activism. She is a sophomore from Ohio studying Health & Human Biology and International & Public Affairs. She is an avid earl grey enthusiast and can be found making tea in her free time.


Ciara Meyer

Ciara Meyer is a Senior Staff Writer covering the Beyond Brown beat. She is from Saratoga Springs, New York and plans on concentrating in Statistics and English nonfiction. In her free time, she loves scrapbooking and building lego flowers.


Megan Chan

Megan is a Senior Staff Writer covering community and activism in Providence. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she spends her free time drinking coffee and wishing she was Meg Ryan in a Nora Ephron movie.



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