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Official Statement from the Office of the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Government 

I have observed, with great concern, the events surrounding the peaceful assembly of protesters who exercised their first amendment rights this week. These individuals call for the disclosure of investments and divestment related to the Israel-Gaza conflict were met with a disproportionate response by university authorities, including the use of aggressive police tactics, inclusion of campus police from other UNC system institutions, and harm to students protesting and counter protesting.  UNC is a community that values free expression, academic freedom, and open debate, and should function in a way that supports these goals. Safety is essential for that mission and the armed police presence on campus endangers students and should only be used as a last resort.  

UNC has a rich history of student-led activism, and it is imperative that we honor this legacy by upholding principles of free speech and assembly on campus. We stand in solidarity with our fellow students, colleagues, faculty, and staff who were negatively affected by the recent actions taken by university administration and voice sympathy for those arrested and harmed. We call upon UNC’s leadership to recognize and reaffirm the fundamental right to free speech and expression on our campus, prioritize the safety and well-being of all students and community members, and review the police response and use of force. We urge university leaders to engage constructively with the concerns raised by our community and to foster an environment where dialogue can thrive without fear of reprisal. We also request them to address the university with regular updates and information as our university community is reeling from the trauma of these events, including resources for students who are now processing the events of this week and going into finals.  

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