The University’s Intervention Concerning the Encampment

May 7, 2024

Dear Members of the University Community,

We write with further information concerning the University of Chicago’s intervention early Tuesday morning in response to the unauthorized, eight-day occupation of the Main Quadrangle.

Since the encampment began last Monday, the University has provided the greatest possible leeway for freedom of expression, carefully monitoring the growing number of serious disruptions, policy violations, and safety hazards that the occupation caused. The encampment violated the University’s commitment to free expression by monopolizing the center of campus  – entirely obstructing physical access to a large part of the Quad, disrupting classes in nearby buildings, and contributing to an increasingly unsafe environment of confrontation, particularly the events of last Friday.

Over the course of the last week, the University informed the protesters repeatedly that their actions violated University policies. Officers with the University of Chicago Police Department and other staff members again gave protesters directives to leave ahead of the intervention early Tuesday morning, advising them that those who did not leave would be subject to arrest, involuntary leave of absence, and referral to the University’s disciplinary processes. All of the protesters left without incident and there have been no arrests.

At approximately 4:40 a.m. Tuesday, UCPD began removing protesters, tents, and unauthorized structures from the Main Quad, supported by contract security personnel and University staff members. The overnight action, done when fewer protesters were in the encampment, was a collaborative effort carefully planned to minimize the need for arrests and reduce the impact on others in our campus and in nearby neighborhoods.

The University’s policies, including those concerning free expression, apply to all. Protesters have had numerous opportunities to share their views during this encampment, and they may do so now, under the same rules that apply to others. While we anticipate further protests, we will not allow such activity to indefinitely disrupt the functioning or safety of the University. UCPD officers have acted with purposeful restraint throughout the period of the encampment. That will continue to the greatest extent possible while protecting public safety and preventing disruption.


Michele Rasmussen
Dean of Students in the University

Eric M. Heath
Associate Vice President for Safety & Security

UChicagoSocial: Campus and Student Life