Emails May 9-10 Regarding May 10 Meeting

From: Engagement Team
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2024 11:08 AM
Subject: Follow up and next meeting time

Divestment Coalition – 

Attached to this message please find the written clarifications to our answers to your demands, as agreed at our meeting on Tuesday, May 7. 

We hope you find this document helpful in moving the dialogue forward. We are waiting to hear from you about a time to meet on Friday May 10. 

​The Engagement Team is committed to and continues to keep the lines of communication open.   

The Engagement Team

From: Divestment Coalition
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2024 2:12 PM
Subject: Re: Follow up and next meeting time

Dear Engagement Team:

We appreciate the written clarification provided. We will consult with our community in the areas you all have offered material for feedback (e.g. the language to further clarify/address our first demand) and circle back.

With that said, we see that you included some summarizing statements in the document so we wish to confirm that the following bullet points fairly and accurately represent statements made by the Engagement Team:

  • ​​Amnesty would be offered for property and clerical ("immaterial") violations. This is conditioned on closing or reducing the encampment. Unspecified "escalatory patterns" would not be covered. 
  • President Manuel responded to a student negotiator that disclosing the investment portfolio was not mentioned in the response offered to the demands on May 6 because "I think it will further enrage you." 
  • President Manuel stated "We cannot— we will not divest from Israel." 
  • With regard to the terms genocide and scholasticide, President Manuel affirmed that "[...] those words signal more than they are substantive".

We are not able to meet on Friday, which is why we are again offering Monday as a time to physically reconvene. We are always open to receiving correspondences via email (in writing) on anything the administration considers an urgent or pressing matter.

Until liberation,
The DePaul Divestment Coalition

From: Engagement Team
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2024 4:57 PM
Subject: Urgent Follow Up; Response Required

Divestment Coalition – 

Your response is particularly disheartening, as the engagement team and the administration found the meeting on May 7 to be productive. We were grateful for your openness to continue the conversation.

As a matter of good faith, we honored the request to share responses with you about the common ground covered, as well as the written responses to some of the issues raised, with the intent of resuming the conversation. We again want to impress the urgency of continuing the dialogue to find resolution. We were under the impression you also shared that same sense of urgency, which is why your proposition to postpone the meeting until Monday is difficult to understand.

As President Rob discussed in the meeting, we affirm the positive intent of the encampment in terms of your efforts to educate our community, devotion to your community guidelines, care for each other, and a focus on de-escalation. At the same time, given the heightened external attention which has resulted in the ongoing involvement of external individuals and groups, the broader impact creates undeniable safety concerns for individuals within the encampment and our entire campus community. We have significant concerns going into the weekend.

As a result, the DePaul administration and the engagement team require you to attend a meeting on Friday, May 10, 2024 at 2:00 pm in Cortelyou Commons. A meeting request is considered a reasonable directive from the university. Failure to meet with the administration and engagement team at this time may result in this matter being immediately referred to the Student Conduct Process for action.

We cannot confirm your first statement regarding the breadth of amnesty that can be provided until we have an agreement on a path forward. We hope to discuss divestment and a path forward at the meeting on Friday.

As to the remaining bullet points, we will not confirm these as statements. They are words taken out of context and do not reflect fairly or accurately the meeting's content.

We require immediate confirmation of your attendance via e-mail. Failure to attend at 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon will result in the administration considering the negotiations at an impasse.

The Engagement Team is committed to and continues to keep the lines of communication open.

DePaul Administration and The Engagement Team

From: Divestment Coalition
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2024 9:13 PM
Subject: Re: Urgent Follow Up; Response Required

To whom this may concern: 

We are responding outside of business hours only because of the immediate response demanded in your email. We must express our profound concern regarding the timing of this meeting and question the reasonableness of this 'directive'. Friday marks the day of Jumu'ah, and preparation for and participation in related prayer services holds significant religious importance for the Muslim members of our negotiation team. Friday evenings mark the beginning of Shabbat for the Jewish member of our negotiation team, and preparations for related services begin earlier in the day. We wholeheartedly stand with those in the Coalition who require time for these religious and collective care practices: especially at a time when we are witnessing a genocide on our phones from which the administration has refused to stop profiting off of. We would also be remiss to not mention how the Engagement Team's disregard and insistence on scheduling further strains the personal circumstances of one student negotiator, [removed name and personal circumstance]. We are sharing all the information above as we believe the Engagement Team does not understand why we are offering to reconvene for a negotiation on Monday.

The conditions by which the Engagement Team has attempted to forcibly convene this meeting with carelessness towards the religious observances above and under the threat of referral through the Student Conduct Process is antithetical to the University Mission Statement that the institution and its actors have an obligation to "compassionately [uphold] the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community." It is disheartening that we are being pressured to disregard these recurring religious observances that surely the Engagement Team should be aware of. With that said, the DePaul Divestment Coalition is prepared to send the only two members who are not affected by the aforementioned observances as a show of good faith and our commitment to keeping the line of communication open. However, the two individuals in attendance would not be in a position to respond to any topic of discussion brought forth by the administration and would simply listen and transcribe what is shared by the administration to bring back to the full Coalition leadership. If we were to reconvene on Monday it would be a more back-and-forth discussion with the student negotiators. Please decide if a 2:00 PM convening for tomorrow, with the aforementioned limitations, or a Monday negotiation is preferable and we can proceed accordingly.

Until liberation,
The DePaul Divestment Coalition

From: Engagement Team
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2024 7:39:58 AM
Subject: Meeting today and Monday

Dear Divestment Coalition:

We are very sorry to hear about [names and personal circumstance removed].

It is not our intention to undermine any religious observances among our students. Our request to hold a meeting on this day was based off our last conversation where there appeared to be consensus from the Coalition members that Friday would be an appropriate date to re-engage.

We will hold our meeting today with your representatives who can attend at 2:00 pm in Cortelyou Commons, and we will reconvene with the Coalition leadership on Monday at 9:00 am.

We understand that there are classes on Monday, and given the urgency, we are willing to verify your attendance with your faculty if needed.

We will use the time today to communicate essential safety protocols and expectations for the Quad and discuss our plan for the meeting on Monday.

Please confirm that your leadership group will attend the rescheduled meeting on Monday, May 13 at 9:00 am. We will send the location once we can confirm availability of the space.

The administration and engagement team are committed to and continue to keep the lines of communication open.

DePaul Administration and The Engagement Team