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Two University of Wisconsin campuses reach deal with protesters to end encampments

The protest tents at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Milwaukee are gone, and the protesters at both campuses are waiting for meetings with the university’s investment managers. The University of Wisconsin’s two largest campuses reached agreements with

Published: May 13, 2024 9:59am

(The Center Square) -

The protest tents at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Milwaukee are gone, and the protesters at both campuses are waiting for meetings with the university’s investment managers.

The University of Wisconsin’s two largest campuses reached agreements with campus protesters to end the two-week-long protest encampments on campus.

UW-Madison recently announced its agreement.

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said the university will arrange a meeting between Students for Justice in Palestine at UW-Madison and the UW’s Foundation and Alumni Association to allow the protesters to make their case for a full divestment from Israel.

UW is promising to bring in pro-Palestinian speakers for the next three years. The university is also promising to “add to the Division of Student Affairs a student-focused staff member whose work will focus on supporting students impacted by war, violence and displacement.” And UW also agreed to provide “appropriate support for additional students impacted by war, violence and displacement.”

In exchange, the protesters promised not to interrupt UW-Madison's graduation Saturday. A handful of students walked out of Saturday’s commencement, but overall, protesters kept their promise.

UW-Milwaukee announced its agreement with protesters on Sunday,

UW-M also agreed to arrange a meeting between campus protesters and foundation investors. UW-Milwaukee went a bit further by pushing the Water Council to end its relationship with two Israeli water companies. UW-Milwaukee is also promising to “study” its study abroad programs, which protesters say will essentially end all UW-M study opportunities in Israel.

Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone said protesters in Milwaukee have also agreed to take down their tents and to not disrupt this weekend’s graduation ceremony.

“I’m grateful that the ongoing dialogue with our students has resulted in this peaceful resolution. I want to extend my personal thanks to everyone who played a role in the process. The voluntary dismantling of the encampment is the safest conclusion for everyone,” Mone said in a statement. “UWM is a public university that serves a broadly diverse community, and our core responsibility is the education of our students. And so, consistent with our mission, we’ve charted a path forward that prioritizes strengthening our community of care, mutual respect, accountability and collaboration for a better future.”

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