Update on campus activity

April 22, 2024

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

Following my message to the community yesterday, I am writing to you with an update about the actions we took this morning to safeguard campus safety and sustain university operations. I was deeply saddened that the call for civil discourse and peaceful protest I issued was not heeded. More concerning, some of those who joined students at Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza) in recent days were not members of the Yale community, and protesters were trespassing on campus overnight.

For several days, faculty and staff provided student protesters resources for free expression, health, and well-being, and informed them of university policies and expectations. The protesters also received repeated notifications that their continued unauthorized use of a campus space was in violation of university policies and state laws and that those who remained would be subject to disciplinary and legal action.

Last night, we spent many hours in discussions with students, offering them opportunities to end the protest and to meet with trustees, including the chair of the Board of Trustees’ Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR). Students chose to end conversations with Yale College and graduate school deans and rejected this offer; they decided instead to remain on Beinecke Plaza with those who had joined them from outside the campus community.

At that point, we determined that the situation was no longer safe. Members of the Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian communities reported that the campus environment had become increasingly difficult. We then became aware of police reports identifying harmful acts and threatening language used against individuals at or near the protest sites. Some of the aggressors are believed to be members of the Yale community while others were outsiders. We will not tolerate such behavior nor any open violation of Yale policies that interrupts academic and campus operations. So, we acted consistently with the warnings we had given over several days and escorted the protesters from the plaza.

Early this morning, Yale Police Department (YPD) officers spoke with students on Beinecke Plaza and gave them several opportunities to leave and avoid arrest. YPD officers only arrested those who were prepared to be arrested. During that action, Yale Police arrested sixty people who refused a final request to leave voluntarily. Forty-seven were Yale students. The university statement we issued provides more information. This is a dynamic situation, and additional updates will be posted online.

I am grateful that we were able to take these actions peacefully and that none of the protesters resisted arrest. The Yale Police Department acted in a manner that ensured the safety of the members of our community. However, today, a crowd—again, including our students and people not affiliated with Yale—assembled and blocked New Haven city streets. This is a safety violation and a disruption to the operation of the City of New Haven.

We will continue to support individuals’ right to freedom of expression, and, as I said in my message to you on Sunday, April 21, we also remain focused on campus safety. We will pursue disciplinary action to address possible violations of our policies, particularly those policies prohibiting threats, intimidation, coercion, harassment, and physical harm as well as conduct that interferes with university operations. We will remind our campus community soon of our policies on freedom of expression and use of outdoor spaces. We will also provide clarifying policy concerning the building of structures on campus.

I remind you of the statement I made to our community yesterday and my December message, Against Hatred: we must reject discrimination and prejudice and act with compassion and civility, especially when the values we stand for are being severely tested. We have traveled far together over the years to create and sustain a thriving academic environment; let us work together in the coming days to continue that journey.


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

Update: After all processing was completed and reported, there were forty-four students and four other individuals arrested.