Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cal Poly Humboldt closes campus through end of school year as protests continue

Cal Poly Humboldt students in the university quad on Friday, April 26.
Kelby McIntosh / JPR
Cal Poly Humboldt students in the university quad on Friday, April 26.

Story courtesy of JPR. Follow the latest updates Here.


Around 200 students gathered in the Cal Poly Humboldt campus quad early Friday night shortly after Siemens Hall was opened for the first time in five days. There was no university or police presence as of 5:30 p.m.

The university announced that protesters inside the building and those camping nearby had the opportunity to leave the campus on Friday afternoon without facing immediate arrest. However, the university said student protesters could face legal action, suspension or university-conduct related sanctions.

“Voluntarily departing in this way will be considered as a mitigating factor in University conduct processes and may reduce the severity of sanctions imposed,” the university said in a statement.

Dozens of protesters began their occupation of Siemens Hall – an academic and administrative building – on Monday, using tables and chairs to barricade the entrances. Graffiti had been painted on the interior walls of the building.

The Cal Poly Humboldt campus will remain closed through the end of the school year on May 10. Classes will continue remotely through the end of the semester, according to a statement from university administration on Friday.

Since Monday, protesters have made a number of demands, including transparency regarding the university’s investments, divestment from Israeli-linked companies, cutting ties with Israeli universities, dropping all charges against the protesters, and publicly calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The university remained silent about those demands until Friday afternoon, when it shared its response that had been given to protestors on Thursday.

In terms of investments, the university said it does not directly invest in defense companies or Israeli companies. It said any indirect investments through mutual funds are less than 1% of the university’s total investment portfolio. It also said the university is open to discussing investment policies in the future.

The university also said it does not currently have ties to Israeli universities, clarifying that a study abroad program at the University of Haifa in Israel that was listed in the school’s catalog is a California State University International Study Abroad program, not a Cal Poly Humboldt program.

The university did not commit to dropping charges against protesters, saying there will be consequences for violating university policy or the law.

In response to a public call for a ceasefire, the university said, “Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to social justice and the Graduation Pledge to guide everyone’s social and environmental consequences of their decisions. We are supportive of a peaceful and just world which affords the opportunity for all human beings to flourish and achieve their potential.”

The university’s President, Tom Jackson, has yet to make any official statement on the protests. His inaction led to a vote of no confidence by the university general faculty on Thursday, according to the Lost Coast Outpost. In it, the faculty asked for the president’s resignation, and to not pursue disciplinary or legal action against the protesters.