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On April 29, editors from the Campus Times posed questions to University leaders regarding the content of an April 24 meeting between student protest leaders and University administrators. Below is the University’s full response to the CT:

The University of Rochester has not considered and is not open to discussing an end to its academic involvement with Israeli institutions. This will not stop some stakeholders from requesting divestment from institutions outside of the United States, and the University will not punish students solely for respectfully requesting this, but the University’s position on this is clear. The April 24 meeting with the student protest leaders was intended to find mutual understanding on some ongoing divisions. It became—perhaps unclearly—a discussion on how University processes work and the steps that would be needed to introduce a proposal such as academic divestment to the Faculty Senate for consideration. To be clear, the Faculty Senate is a self-governing body and is free to address whatever topics they want to discuss relevant to the University’s academic activities. Senate resolutions can serve as recommendations to be considered by the University but are not the University’s position. The other point of this conversation was that complicated topics where consensus may be hard to come by would necessarily take a long time to work through—six months, a year, or more.  University leaders who were part of the April 24 conversation recognize that there may have been misinterpretations of the meeting’s outcome. 

Since October, Student Life officials have tried extremely hard to maintain open lines of communication with student protest leaders and have provided much leeway to find middle ground on freedom of expression, while always listening to them raise the issues they care so deeply about. Student Life officials are open to dialogue with protest leaders to seek bridges to areas of where there may be agreement and understanding moving forward.

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