Cal Poly Humboldt to remain closed through Sunday

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Cal Poly Humboldt announced this afternoon that the campus would be closed through Sunday. Initially, it was closed through Wednesday due to pro-Palestine protesters occupying Siemens Hall. But, the university said “unidentified non-students with unknown intentions” create an unpredictable environment.

Day three of the ongoing pro-Palestine protest at Cal Poly Humboldt consisted of the California Faculty Association union holding a ‘teach-in.’ Teach-ins are discussion-orientated conversations toward action, including students and faculty.

“First and foremost, to show support for what the students are doing,” said Aaron Donaldson, Secretary of California Faculty Association Humboldt. “We don’t believe the language that they’re a threat or that they’re a risk. We think that this is kind of a good opportunity to look at a lot of the things that we teach here at Cal Poly Humboldt. We teach direct advocacy and democracy.”

The teach-in began at noon and about an hour later news broke from Cal Poly Humboldt saying that the campus is closed through the weekend. Campus events have been canceled as protesters continue to occupy Siemens Hall. 

Redwood News spoke with KRFG–the student-run radio station. They have been broadcasting live information about the ongoing protest. But they needed access to their equipment in Gist Hall, which is otherwise closed.

“After hours of negotiating, we reached a final agreement, which is KRFG journalists can continue to report live from the station unsupervised,” said Kianna Znika, KRFH Station Manager. “But the limitations to that–are that it has to be only KRFH journalists in the station.”

The terms for KRFH also include keeping active communication with Jeff Crane, the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Overnight on-campus protesters created more barricades near the library, which has a driveway that is now blocked. People continue to show their support for the protesters by camping overnight, creating messages around campus, and providing resources such as food and blankets.

“I’m here on campus today to support my students,” said Renée Byrd, English Associate Professor. “I’m incredibly proud of my students. This is precisely what we educate students to do. To use their voices, to intervene in the world, and to fight to make the world a better place.” 

Professors like Byrd are accommodating their coursework and schedule as current events unfold. 

“I haven’t made all the decisions about that yet, but I will certainly be shifting things to make it possible for students to finish,” Byrd said. “I don’t see what they’re doing as separate from the learning they’re doing in my classroom.”

The university has said protesters occupy one other building, but we have been unable to independently confirm that.

In this afternoon’s news release, the university said, “In recent days, hateful graffiti has been painted on university property.” The university went on to say they offer support to all students and condemn any forms of hatred, bigotry, and violence. They report numerous laws have been broken and that multiple agencies are providing additional resources and support. But we have not heard of anyone being arrested since two people on the first day of protests.