Students at Stanford University are protesting a new school ban on overnight sit-in camping.
Pro-Palestinian students protesting the Israel-Hamas war who have camped outside for 112 days have called for supporters to rally against the ban after it was announced by the university on Thursday night.
In a statement Thursday, the university said it would no longer permit overnight displays and camping “based on concerns for the physical safety of our community.”
Strong winds from a storm last weekend blew down tents and since then, students have placed chairs in the area, “taking the space another group was using,” the university wrote in the Stanford Report.
The university said it has a policy that prohibits overnight camping unless it is specifically permitted by the school.
“The university has allowed overnight camping in White Plaza since the events of October 7 out of a desire to support the peaceful expression of free speech in the ways that students choose to exercise that expression,” the notice said.
Stanford said its level of concern has risen to a point where it can no longer support overnight activities.
All items will have to be removed from the area between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. and items left behind are “subject to removal for health and safety reasons.”
Students who violate the ban will be subject to disciplinary referral and may be cited for trespassing for not complying with University announcements.
“Our community holds a variety of views regarding the Israel-Hamas war. Stanford continues to firmly support the peaceful expression of divergent views by members of our community, and we will continue working to provide for the physical safety and well-being of all members of our community,” the announcement said.
Students have called an emergency rally to protest the University’s ban. A post shared online called for “all hands on deck” at the sit-in on Thursday.
“We need a strong show of people united to support the sit-in’s existence,” the post said. “Wear Stanford gear.”
A user who posted the announcement said the university is banning the sit-in because “Zionists on campus have complained about losing their counterprotest spot after their unoccupied canopy blew away during a storm.”
Stanford was one of many universities that faced scrutiny over its reaction to student protests in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks.
The university previously addressed reports of a “non-faculty instructor” who was said to have “addressed the Middle East conflict in a manner that called out individual students in class based on their backgrounds and identities.”