Harvard University and student protesters announced on Tuesday that they had negotiated an end to a pro-Palestinian encampment in Harvard Yard, with the university agreeing to discuss student questions about its endowment related to the war in Gaza and to quickly process petitions for the reinstatement of suspended students.

The apparently peaceful outcome is one that has eluded some other colleges and universities, where officials have resorted to calling the police to clear demonstrators.

The coalition orchestrating the three-week-old encampment, Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, known as HOOP, announced that it had “democratically voted to end its encampment after 20 days.”

The agreement at Harvard followed similar deals to end student encampments at more than a dozen other campuses over the last few weeks. At universities like Brown and Northwestern, students obtained concessions including meetings with trustees to discuss divestment and scholarships for Palestinian students. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee agreed to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

But at Harvard, the two sides’ statements about the agreement differed in nuance. The student coalition suggested that Harvard had caved in to its demands, while Harvard asserted that it was willing merely to open a dialogue about the demands, and had not committed to taking any action.

On the student demand for divestment from Israel, for instance, Harvard maintained that what the administration had agreed to do was to offer the students a kind of tutorial on how its $49.5-billion endowment worked.


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