Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Three arrested after officer pushed at Vanderbilt pro-Palestinian protest: report

University suspends 16 after sit-in demanding divestment from pro-Israel groups

Three Vanderbilt University students were arrested after video footage showed pro-Palestinian protesters pushing an officer Tuesday to force entry into a campus building, according to the student newspaper.

The sit-in protest regarded administrators’ decision to cancel a ballot proposition that would have banned funding for pro-Israel groups, The Vanderbilt Hustler reports.

A security video published by the Tennessee university shows protesters forcibly entering Kirkland Hall on Tuesday, pushing past a security officer who tried to prevent them from entering.

The building, which houses the chancellor’s office, is closed due to construction, according to the university.

The students sat in the hall until early Wednesday morning when campus police forced 25 students to leave, according to the report.

Three were arrested and 16 received interim suspensions, the report states.

The Hustler reports more:

Two students — senior Devron Burks and first-year Jack Petocz — were arrested for assault and bodily injury to another, which is classified as a misdemeanor. Petocz is being held at a $2,000 bond and Burks at a $1,000 bond. A third student — sophomore Samuel Schulman — is listed as an inmate, but his record navigates to a server error as of 8 a.m.

Another student, junior Musab Mohamed Nuh, was arrested earlier in the protest “after officers saw a shattered window at the building,” according to the report.

During the sit-in, another video posted on X by American Council of Trustees and Alumni fellow Steve McGuire shows students repeatedly calling “Shame!” at a black police officer.

“You are black in America, and you’re NOT standing with the marginalized people of the world. What does that make you?” one student said, according to the video. “What does that make you? A coward.”

The university told The Tennessean in a statement protesters “physically assaulted a Community Service Officer to gain entrance and proceeded to push staff members who offered to meet with them.”

The pro-Palestinian students told The Hustler they plan to keep protesting outside the chancellor’s office building until administrators reinstate the proposition.

University leaders said they canceled the ballot proposition due to legal problems.

The Tennesseean reports:

Vanderbilt administration told The Tennessean in a recent statement that the “student-led effort to pass a resolution proposing Vanderbilt Student Government adopt boycott, divestment and sanctions tactics did not move forward because of potential conflict with federal and state laws.”

The statement said any activity relating to boycotts from the university could make the university “ineligible for new state contracts and could have existing contracts voided.”

A Nashville Scene reporter also was detained by police after entering the hall to report on the protest, according to the report. Authorities told reporters not to go into the hall, the report states.

MORE: Pro-Palestinian protesters at UMich disrupt, cut short honors convocation

IMAGE: Vanderbilt Divest Coalition/Instagram

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.