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Pro-Palestine UNLV students end hunger strike amid negotiations with administration

Faculty at UNLV's College of Hotel Administration are unhappy about how the department is running.
Faculty at UNLV's College of Hotel Administration are unhappy about how the department is running.

The nearly seven-day-long hunger strike involving two University of Nevada, Las Vegas students ended earlier this week following productive negotiations with UNLV administrators and pro-Palestine student groups and coalitions.

Following multiple campus protests, students began the hunger strike to prompt UNLV to respond to their demands. Protesters want the university to disclose and divest from organizations they say have pro-Israel interests, and to ensure the safety of Palestinian students.

While those demands are yet to be met, a recent meeting between university administrators and groups leading the protests got the ball rolling.

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Matthew, who did not disclose his last name out of concern for his safety, is an organizer for the UNLV student group, Students for Justice in Palestine. He provided a statement to KNPR saying the group and university were making progress. The statement confirmed that the two students had ended their hunger strike due to the beneficial nature of the meeting. However, it added, the group will continue to use its first amendment right to protest.

In response to KNPR's inquiry, UNLV provided the following statement: “President (Keith) Whitfield and UNLV administrators continue to meet with student leaders and faculty representing all views on this issue, including on Tuesday. The representation that the university agreed to 'divest and disclose' is inaccurate. UNLV administrators did not make that commitment. UNLV will continue its ongoing dialogue with faculty and student groups. Finally, UNLV soundly rejects antisemitism and Islamophobia and is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to all of our students, faculty, and staff.

Several community groups held a rally in support of Jewish students on UNLV’s campus through the weekend and Monday, according to published reports.

This news was updated May 10 to include UNLV's full statement. KNPR will continue following this developing story.

Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.
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