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Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

UCUP Occupies Admissions Office

Members of UChicago United for Palestine are engaged in a sit-in inside of Rosenwald Hall. UCPD is expected to remove protestors when the building closes at 5 p.m.
Nikhil Jaiswal
Organizers from UCUP engaged in a sit-in at Rosenwald Hall on November 9, 2023.

At 11:30 a.m. this morning, members of UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP), a coalition involving multiple prominent on-campus activist groups, began a sit-in on the second floor of Rosenwald Hall until the University administration agrees to a public meeting and to divest from Israel.

Sources with knowledge of the situation told The Maroon that University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) is planning to have the majority of its units stationed around Rosenwald Hall this evening.

In a statement to The Maroon, the University reiterated its commitment to free speech but communicated that protestors had been informed that they were violating University policy.

“As part of our commitment to free expression, the University of Chicago is deeply committed to upholding the rights of protesters and speakers to express a wide range of views. University policies also make it clear that demonstrations cannot jeopardize safety or disrupt the University’s operations and the ability of people in the University to carry out their work.

“The protestors who entered Rosenwald Hall today have been instructed to leave, and have been informed that their activity constitutes disruptive conduct under University policy. They have been notified that failure to adhere to directives or stop disruption may result in referral to one or more University disciplinary systems.”

At 2:55 p.m., a group of University officials accompanied by a UCPD Sergeant instructed protestors to leave. A member of UCUP told The Maroon that protestors could be subject to removal and arrest if they remained in Rosenwald after it closed at 5 p.m..

A third notice to vacate the building was officially delivered by the Dean-on-Call to protestors at 4:33 p.m. and at 4:48 p.m. UCPD asked a reporter present in the space between Rosenwald Hall and Walker Museum to vacate the premise.

UCUP is made up of on-campus groups such as #CareNotCops, UChicago Students for Justice in Palestine, UChicago Against Displacement, the UChicago Environmental Justice Task Force, National Lawyers Guild at UChicago, Stand with Kashmir UChicago, and the UChicago Democratic Socialists of America.

Currently, there are faculty observers present within the admissions office in Rosenwald Hall, but no legal observers.

Earlier in the day, a faculty observer and an observer from the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago who had accompanied protestors were not allowed to return after briefly leaving the building. Faculty and staff attempting to enter the admissions office were advised to speak to the Dean-on-Call or the Dean of Students.

Faculty who had left the admissions office ahead of the sit-in were not allowed to reenter. (Finn Hartnett)

The main entrance to Rosenwald Hall is currently blocked by UCPD officers. Entrances to the admissions office area are also being blocked by officers.

Student Marshals and members of the University Police outside Rosenwald Hall. (Finn Hartnett)

Protesters entered the building at 11:30 a.m., at which time they began reciting various chants relating to the University’s financial ties to Israel amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. On four separate occasions, a UCPD officer entered the building only to leave shortly after. There were various points at which the chanting decreased in intensity, but it continued steadily until around 12:10 p.m. At that point, a protester announced that the group would begin officially occupying the building, telling the others to begin setting up their bedding and food.

After the announcement that the group would begin officially occupying the building, protesters broke into several groups and began making signs with the phrases being chanted. Multiple Palestinian flags have also been put up in the Rosenwald lobby.

Inside Rosenwald Hall. (Austin Zeglis)

“It’s very important to emphasize that this was not our first step, it wasn’t our second step, it wasn’t our third step or our forth step. We don’t enjoy putting ourselves in academic danger and in legal danger. None of this is our idea of a good time,” said a member of UCUP currently inside of Rosenwald Hall.

Members of UCUP announced outside Rosenwald Hall that University administration had told them they were shutting down activities in the building for the rest of the day as a response to the sit-in.

Earlier in the day, members of UCUP and students had rallied in front of Levi Hall. Protesters held signs, chanted on megaphones, and shared narratives describing the situation in Gaza. That rally turned into a march as the group walked through the quad to Rosenwald.

Students protesting outside Levi Hall. (Finn Hartnett)

“It’s absolutely not right what the University is doing, and I think by staying silent about it, we’re all complicit,” a protestor told The Maroon. “It’s important to stand here and take action and force them to be transparent about it—to stop what’s going on because it’s entirely f**cked up.”

The protestor also expressed a desire for UCUP to continue taking direct action against the University. “I think we need to go more extreme than this,” he said. “At the end of the day, what we are doing right now is chanting. We’re calling for action. The next step is action. The next step is bothering University admin, getting in their way, making sure they can’t do things, getting in their faces—the faces of the UCPD—and telling them what they’re doing is not right.”

An UCUP march in front of Levi Hall morphed into a march through the Quad to Rosenwald Hall. (Nikhil Jaiswal)

The march passed by an installation created by by UChicago Maroons for Israel, which organizers said was planned independently, and not in reaction to, the UCUP rally.

An installation created by UChicago Maroons for Israel on the Quad. (Nikhil Jaiswal)

UCUP stated that students plan to occupy the second floor of Rosenwald until the University agrees to their demands. They also plan to remain outside the building until 5:30 p.m. each evening and hold “cop-watching” shifts throughout the night to make sure protesters are not forcibly removed.

The Maroon is covering this developing situation with reporters inside and outside of Rosenwald Hall.

View Comments (5)
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About the Contributors
Austin Zeglis
Austin Zeglis, Senior News Reporter, Senior Sports Reporter
Austin is a member of the class of 2024 who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studies economics and music in the College and contributes to the Sports and News sections of The Maroon.
Finn Hartnett
Finn Hartnett, Head Sports Editor
Finn Hartnett is a fourth-year at the College from New York City. He was given the Sports Editor title in June 2021, and since then he has enjoyed the work greatly, whether that means interviewing people at local sports events or writing ballads to his favorite Chicago Cub. Occasionally, he contributes to the News and Grey City sections as well. In addition to The Maroon, Finn has contributed articles to the website CATALYST and the Long Island newspaper Dan’s Papers. He has also interned for the non-profit investigative newsroom New York Focus. In his free time, he enjoys petting his cat.
Nikhil Jaiswal
Nikhil Jaiswal, 2023-2024 Co-Editor-in-Chief
A member of the Class of 2024 from Connecticut, Nikhil Jaiswal served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Maroon from Spring Quarter of 2023 to Winter Quarter of 2024. He worked for The Maroon since 2020, first as a reporter, then a senior reporter, and then as an editor in the News section. He covered a range of topics but with a focus on breaking news, rallies, and labor movements. You can find his writing here on The Maroon’s website. In his free time, Nikhil enjoyed getting free merch on campus. To get in contact with Nikhil, reach out to the staff of the Chicago Maroon who can share his email address.
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Comments (5)

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  • A

    Allen Salzman / Nov 10, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Do what Levi did in the 1960s protest. Kick out all the sit-in students and fire all of the radical teachers who are involved. That was the only way for the University to retain the respect of the academic and scholarly world back then, and the same goes today. Don’t let these radicals poison and rot this University. —Allen Salzman, MA ‘75, PhD ‘85

  • J

    Jake Becker / Nov 10, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Free Rosenwald Hall from the UCUP occupation!

    • N

      Norma Baker / Nov 10, 2023 at 6:56 pm

      Completely understand being for peace and against human suffering. Don’t understand how anyone who got into UofC can be so ignorant, arrogant, and closed minded to believe it’s their way or the highway. The irony, hypocrisy, and utter lack of not only critical thought but downrange consequences is remarkable. Not the kind of judgement and tactics one desires in future leaders.

  • S

    Sabine Himmelfarb, Ph.D. / Nov 10, 2023 at 5:02 am

    Is the only problem here that they are interfering with campus activities? How is “free speech” that incites violence, calls for “intifada” and supports terrorism ok?
    Some universities have figured out that they need to ban Students for “Justice” in Palestine because it is a pro-terrorism organization that calls for the annihilation of the only Jewish state in the world. Where is the official University position condemning Hamas and groups that support it?

  • J

    Jacob Myrene / Nov 9, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    Do these goons not have class? Do they genuinely believe the University divesting from Israel will make a material difference? Utterly unhinged. They ought to be trespassed, expelled, charged, and imprisoned, forthwith. Jewish donors ought to withhold their contributions until campus is made safe for Jews.