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BRIEF: WWU reaches “historic” agreement with pro-Palestine encampment

Full details of the agreement to be released Friday

A sign detailing protestors' demands in front of Western Washington University’s pro-Palestine encampment in Bellingham, Wash. on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. The university has not yet released the details of the agreement it reached with protesters on Wednesday morning. // Photo by Riley Nachtrieb

Western Washington University’s administration reached an agreement with the WWU Divest Apartheid Coalition on Wednesday, signaling an end to the pro-Palestine encampment outside Old Main. Full details of the agreement will be released Friday. 

President Sabah Randhawa addressed the university community in a written update on Wednesday afternoon, announcing that the two parties had come to a resolution. 

“As part of this agreement, students involved with the encampment on Old Main lawn agreed to voluntarily end the encampment and depart by 5 p.m. tomorrow,” Randhawa wrote. 

The WWU Divest Apartheid Coalition and university administration reached a final draft of the agreement after ten hours of discussion on Tuesday, said Jasmine Welaye, a graduate student involved with the encampment. They signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday morning.

“President Randhawa will share further details on the MOU on Friday,” Jonathan Higgins, Western’s director of communications, wrote to The Front in an email. 

The agreement comes after the encampment occupied the lawn in front of Old Main for over two weeks. The encampment and associated demonstrations remained peaceful and without intervention from police. 

The demands of the protesters included that the University divest from Israel by ending all contracts and investments “with companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s illegal settler-colonial occupation of Palestine.” Until the details of the agreement are announced on Friday, it is unclear whether all of the protesters’ demands were met.

The encampment was set up in the early hours of Tuesday, May 14, with dozens of tents inside a rope barrier. As of Wednesday afternoon, the encampment is still in place.

The WWU Divest Apartheid Coalition said in an email sent to The Front, that they will publicly read a press release from what they called a “historic” memorandum of understanding in front of Old Main on Thursday at 5 p.m. 

Oren Roberts

Oren Roberts (they/them) is a city news reporter this quarter at The Front. They are a third-year completing an interdisciplinary concentration in Trauma-Informed Journalism through Fairhaven College. They fill their free time with fermentation projects, paddleboarding and tending to their houseplants. You can contact them at

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