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Updates from university protests: Police clear protest camp at USC

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced Sunday that the university is taking several immediate steps to increase campus safety following protests that prompted the school’s closure last week.

Block said the newly created Office of Campus Safety will oversee the management of the UCLA Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management. The administrative vice chancellor was previously responsible for the agencies.

Rick Braziel, the former Sacramento police chief, will lead the new Office of Campus Safety, Block said. Braziel reports directly to Block.

In addition, Block said he has established a formal advisory group of security experts who will work with Braziel, including UC Davis Police Chief Joh Farrow; Vickie Mays, professor of psychology and health policy and management at UCLA, and Jody Stiger, the UC Office of the President systemwide director of community safety.

“Over the past week, our campus has been rocked by events that have disrupted this sense of security and strained trust within our community,” Block said in a statement Sunday. “In light of this, both UCLA and the UC Office of the President have committed to a thorough investigation of our security processes. But one thing is already clear: to best protect our community in the future, urgent changes are needed in the way we manage safety. activities.”

-ABC News -Izzy Alvarez

Classes will resume Monday at UCLA after the campus was closed due to protests that broke out last week, officials said Sunday.

The school announced that employees are expected to return to work on Monday and that teachers are “encouraged to resume in-person instruction as soon as possible.”

Some instructors will have the option until May 10 to teach remote courses at their discretion “without requiring departmental approval.

“There continues to be a police presence around campus to help promote safety,” school officials said in a statement.

-Tristan Maglunog of ABC News

The University Park campus of the University of Southern California reopened Sunday after a pro-Palestinian tent camp was cleared and dismantled, the university said.

All students, faculty and staff must present valid identification, USC said.

New York Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday defended police action against college campus protests that have erupted in America’s largest city.

“When these protests reach the point of violence, we must ensure that we use a minimal amount of force to end what is perceived as a threat,” Adams told ABC News co-host Jonathan Karl.

Adams added that the police intervention was the result of days of communication between police and school officials.

“We knew we had to get permission unless there was an immediate threat to life or a serious threat to property,” he said, adding: “We would not exceed our legal powers.”

When Karl pressed criticism, including from some other Democrats, that the response to protesters was disproportionate since they were largely nonviolent, Adams said, “People have the right to have their opinions, and I respect that. … And I have a duty and responsibility to make sure the city is safe.”

-ABC News’ Kristina Abovyan

Northwestern University announced it has reached an agreement with pro-Palestinian protesters that will end an encampment of students and faculty but allow peaceful demonstrations until June 1.

The university said it will respond to “inquiries from internal stakeholders regarding holdings currently or in the past quarter to the best of its knowledge and to the extent legally possible” – responding to a key call from protesters and students against divestment across the country country. who are looking for more transparency about universities’ investments.

Northwestern will also re-establish an Investment Responsibility Advisory Committee in the fall, which will include student, faculty and staff representatives.

The university also pledged greater inclusivity by funding two Palestinian faculty members annually and paying the full cost of attendance for five Palestinian students, as well as a commitment to raise money to support the program beyond this commitment.

Under the agreement, tents will be removed immediately, Northwestern said, but one auxiliary tent will be allowed to remain. Protesters will be required to suspend the use of “unapproved” amplified sound.” Protesters who refuse to follow the agreement will be suspended and unaffiliated individuals will be required to leave campus.