After a fourth day of protests, Emory University President Gregory Fenves emailed the Emory community at 11 a.m. today, apologizing for mischaracterizing the majority of the pro-Palestine protestors involved in the April 25 encampment as not being part of the Emory community. Law enforcement ended the encampment after arresting 28 of the demonstrators.

In an email to the Emory community last Thursday, Fenves stated that the protestors were “largely not affiliated” with the University and disrupted the community. He went on to say that law enforcement “cleared the Quad” when the individuals “refused to leave.”

“Based on the information we had early Thursday morning, we determined that the individuals who constructed the encampment on our Quad were not members of our community,” Fenves wrote in his email today. “It is clear to us now that this information was not fully accurate, and I apologize for that mischaracterization.”

Law enforcement officials, including the Georgia State Patrol and the Atlanta Police Department, arrive on the Quad and approach Gaza encampment demonstrators on April 25. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

Fenves expressed that he is “devastated” with how law enforcement engaged with the protestors — using means such as irritant gas during detainment — and called the videos “deeply distressing.”

“I take Thursday’s events very seriously and we are launching a thorough review of them so that we can develop recommendations to improve how we keep our community safe,” Fenves wrote, adding that Emory will review how it engages with outside law enforcement agencies.

Fenves noted that the University is supporting its students “who wish to express their views peacefully” while attempting to keep campus free from disruptions with final exams and graduation approaching.

“As we enter the final week of the academic year, I am focused on protecting our campuses, supporting peaceful expression for all members of our community, and finding ways to foster healing and rebuild trust,” Fenves wrote.

Correction (4/29/2024 at 1:58 p.m.): A previous version of this article stated that University President Gregory Fenves apologized for his response to the detainment of protestors during the April 25 encampment. This article has been updated to earlier specify that he apologized for mischaracterizing the majority of the protestors as not being part of the Emory community.

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Clement Lee (he/him) (24Ox) is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is on the pre-BBA track. Outside the Wheel, Clement can be found reading new books or going on long runs in the woods.

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Lauren Yee (25Ox) is a news editor at The Emory Wheel. She is from Hong Kong and is majoring in religion. Outside of the Wheel, Yee serves on the boards of the Phi Gamma Literary Society and the Oxford Ensemble of Shakespearean Artists. In her free time, you can find her playing the saxophone, watching musicals or enjoying an iced oat milk matcha!