Alyssa Chang, Contributing Photographer

On Monday evening, around 88 pro-Palestine protesters voted to reject University administrators’ offer of a meeting with two Yale Corporation trustees, instead choosing to maintain their encampment on Cross Campus. The decision came just before Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis’ offer of amnesty from disciplinary action expired at 9:30 p.m.

In an email to protesters that the News obtained, Lewis offered protesters the opportunity to meet with two Yale Corporation members. One of the two would be Catharine Bond Hill GRD ’85, who chairs the Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility, which recommends investment policy to the full Yale Corporation. 

This meeting would follow a separate meeting between five protest leaders, two heads of college and Lewis, and it would be contingent on protesters’ “compliance with University policies,” per Lewis’ email. 

Lewis also extended amnesty to protesters who would leave the encampment by 9 p.m., writing that they would “not be disciplined for any trespassing since the previous round of arrests last Monday.” In the email, Lewis asked that protesters respond to his offer by 9 p.m. Chisato Kimura LAW ’25, a student protester, told the News that Lewis later extended the deadline until 9:30 p.m.

“We’re back at the same place that we were last Sunday night,” Kimura told the News, referencing negotiations that broke down between administrators and organizers of last week’s encampment on Beinecke Plaza. 

According to Kimura, an offer without disclosure of Yale’s investments does not meet protesters’ demands.

“We would not find a meeting particularly productive if we don’t have access to information,” Kimura said.

In the past, Lewis and a University spokesperson have both stated that the University is bound by “a number of contractual obligations” that prevent Yale from disclosing the full extent of its investments. Outside these obligations, the University also does not disclose its investments in order to maintain its “competitive advantage” in the institutional investment space, as the University spokesperson has explained.

Lewis has engaged in negotiations with pro-divestment organizers since students first erected an encampment on Beinecke Plaza last week. In the week since the Beinecke Plaza encampment ended in the arrest of 44 student protesters and a nine-hour occupation of the intersection of College and Grove streets, the pro-Palestine protests have transferred to new leadership under a “broader coalition” of organizers from Yale, New Haven and Connecticut.

During negotiations between organizers of the Beinecke encampment and administration, students rejected offers to meet with Yale Corporation because the University would not commit to disclosing investment information that was not already publicly available. 

On Sunday, following a pro-Palestine march through downtown New Haven, student protesters and organizers set up a new encampment on Cross Campus. 

Since then, University administrators, including University President Peter Salovey and Lewis, sent multiple emails imploring students to follow University guidelines regarding the use of campus spaces. In a Monday email to the Yale community, Salovey condemned instances where protesters impeded free movement around campus and engaged in the “exclusion” of students from public spaces.

Salovey specifically noted the two entrance points at the eastern and western ends of Cross Campus, where protesters asked passersby to agree to their “community guidelines” before allowing them to pass through the space. If they did not agree to the guidelines, protest marshals offered to escort them to the other side of Cross Campus.

On Sunday, organizers announced a set of guidelines, including committing to “Palestinian liberation and fighting for freedom for all oppressed people” before people could enter Cross Campus. As of Monday, protesters no longer asked about these guidelines, and one walkway through Cross Campus was cleared of tents.

“Those protesters asked individuals who wished to pass through or enter their area, which is a shared campus space, to agree with their political viewpoints,” Salovey wrote. “This action is unacceptable and antithetical to the very purpose of a university.”

Lewis wrote to the News that he approached organizers of the encampment at 9:15 a.m. on Monday. He wrote that during the encounter, he “invited the [marshals] to ask if a few students would like to meet with [him].”

Lewis added that “organizers declined the offer” and “continued to indicate that they did not want to meet” across a span of 25 minutes. 

At 7:14 p.m., Lewis sent an email to protesters, putting forth his final offers and setting a deadline for protesters to leave Cross Campus. 

“I have received a large number of complaints from students who feel intimidated by your actions, including the statement that only students who agree with you politically can be on the portion of Cross Campus that you have occupied,” Lewis wrote in the email to organizers, which was obtained by the News. 

Lewis also noted that he had received noise complaints, and that some students were “worried by the threatening nature of some of the chants.” 

At about 8:30 p.m., organizers called protesters to the center of the encampment zone to vote on whether to accept the administration’s terms and leave the encampment. Protesters voted by moving to opposite sides of the encampment, with those who stayed in the middle abstaining from the vote. 

At 9:28 p.m., organizers shared with the crowd that out of those who chose to vote, around 55 voted to accept the offer and remove the encampment, while around 88 voted to maintain the encampment, a count that the News independently verified. 

The decision came just before the offer of amnesty from administration to the protesters expired at 9:30 p.m. 

Organizers also announced to the crowd after the vote that “there’s no shame in staying or not staying” and urged all protesters to “mobilize” and call others to come to Cross Campus. 

“We invite you to stay the night on Cross Campus,” an organizer announced over a megaphone. “The mistake we made on Beinecke Plaza was having people leave and come back in the morning.”

Following the vote, about 70 people vacated the encampment zone and gathered on the path in front of Berkeley South Court, while about 80 remained in the zone. By around 10:45 p.m., the crowd had swelled to about 350 people in total, with about 200 protesters gathered on the walkway while about 150 more were inside the encampment. 

As of 12:30 a.m., about 125 protesters remain on Cross Campus.

Cross Campus is located at 120 High St.

Yurii Stasiuk and Tristan Hernandez contributed reporting.

Yolanda Wang (she/her) covers endowment, finances, and donations. She is a sophomore in Davenport College majoring in political science.
Karla Cortes covers International Relations at Yale under the University Desk. She is a first-year in Silliman College majoring in Political Science.