The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

BREAKING: Pro-Palestine rally and encampment demands ceasefire, lists demands for NMSU officials 

David Castañeda
Protestor walks by a waving Palestinian flag. April 29, 2024.

New Mexico State University students and Las Cruces community members created an encampment at Aggie Forest, located just outside Corbett Center Student Union on Monday.  

The group of students and individuals from the Las Cruces area are urging members of the community to join them in their efforts to protest the war crimes inflicted in Gaza by Israel.  

The pro-Palestinian activists drafted a list of their intentions and demands in the form of a letter that was taken to the NMSU administrative offices.  

“We don’t agree with what’s going on [in Gaza],” said a student protestor, who preferred to remain anonymous. “That’s like the little thing that I can try and do to help.” 

During the rally, attendees demanded immediate divestment from companies financially profiting from the crisis in Gaza and called for a stop to Israeli occupational forces. 

They argued that NMSU’s alignment with Israeli businesses and educational institutions is wrongful and thus complicit in genocide, stating that the institution benefits from these partnerships.  

“We human beings see the blatant hypocrisy of New Mexico State University and its posturing as a university that is welcoming, inclusive and equitable,” said another organizer.  

The group emphasized the importance of avoiding unnecessary violence, as well as its hope to bring clarity to the mission of its rally and campsite.  

The march started at NMSU’s horseshoe and was led by student leaders of the organization Las Cruces for Palestine. The protesters proceeded towards Hadley Hall, where they delivered the letter with their demands to administration. 

“I think we have the right to hold our university accountable, to ask questions and to be responded to demanding transparency around some of these contracts and relationships with other institutions, which has been difficult to find,” graduate student Lindley Hornsby said. 

The demands are listed by the group as:  

  • Disclosure of all financial investments 
  • Divestment of all institutions profiting from the genocide of Palestinians 
  • A public call for a permanent and immediate ceasefire  
  • A boycott to all Israeli educational institutions and a call to end study-abroad programs with said state 

“I’m seeing differences in responses from public universities and private universities,” Hornsby added. “Also, some regional differences. In New Mexico, I haven’t seen any police brutality breakout. And I really want to keep it that way.”   

Members of the NMSU and Las Cruces community join campuses around the country by camping on campus. April 29, 2024. (David Castañeda)

The Las Cruces organization is following the movement of students at universities across the country that have created campus encampments, risking their educational future for their convictions on this cause.  

“I think it’s tragic and beautiful at the same time, you know what I mean?… It’s amazing to see that another world is possible,” an encampment organizer said. “In these encampments, people are teaching each other stuff.” 

“They’re singing songs, they’re holding workshops, they’re holding trainings, they’re holding discourses, they’re talking about books, they’re creating poetry, people are praying, people are having fun, people are falling in love and learning to live with each other, and really deal with what it is to be a human right. That is a reflection that we want, what we want to see in Palestine, in Gaza.”  

The demonstration was overall peaceful, with attendees staying close together and chanting about genocide and border walls around the Las Cruces campus.  

Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered after the rally to share their thoughts, opinions and plans of actions for the days to come and to ensure student voices are heard within NMSU and the surrounding areas.  

“Students are not coming from ignorance; they’re coming from deep knowledge. And we all have to respect that and they’re exercising their right to free speech, and they’re being peaceful,” said Palestinian professor and co-founder of the Department of Borderlands and Ethnic Studies, Dr. Manal Hamzeh.  

She emphasized the importance of the students feeling supported in their protest and demand for action. 

“They should not be alone in this, that’s why faculty joined the march today,” Hamzeh added. “The students are teaching the world.”  

This is a developing story. The Round Up will follow up as additional information becomes available.

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About the Contributors
Andrea Vasquez
Andrea Vasquez, Staff Writer
Andrea Vasquez is a second semester transfer senior at New Mexico State University, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Although she was born in Mexico, her life has been shaped by the border experience and having the chance to be part of a tri-city adventure (Juarez, El Paso, Las Cruces). She previously attended El Paso Community College and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. In 2022, she interned at KTSM Channel 9 News in El Paso, Texas and completed a photography internship at The Santa Fe New Mexican during the summer of 2023. She also participates in NMSU’s student broadcast News 22 as a Spanish anchor and producer for Noticias 22. She intends to pursue a career in the journalism field as both a reporter and a photographer. She is entering her first semester at The Round Up as a staff writer and photographer. For her, having the opportunity to learn and contribute to the NMSU community is a great privilege that she does not take for granted. Journalism offers a chance to observe events closely and more professionally, but disconnecting is also important for her. She likes to enjoy outdoor activities as well as spending time with family and friends and catching up with series and documentaries.
David Castañeda
David Castañeda, Multimedia Director
David Castañeda is starting his second year here at The Round Up, this being his first year as Multimedia Director. This is his second year at New Mexico State University and is majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas as an only child but is extremely happy to be able to call Las Cruces his new home. David has had an affinity for photography since he was in elementary school and has only fallen deeper in love with the art through this job. Though David enjoys nothing more than to be behind a camera he loves to try to explore new hobbies and career options. He’s currently focused on improving his photography at The Round Up and working with the Multimedia Specialists to make the Multimedia team the best it can be. When he isn’t taking photos or editing them on Photoshop, David loves to spend his time with his 3-year-long girlfriend in their apartment where they frequently cuddle up in bed to watch some trash TV and films. On his own, he loves to play the bass and listen to music. His favorite artists are The Strokes and Gorillaz.    

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  • J

    JosephMay 8, 2024 at 9:25 AM

    Boomers angry in the comments unfortunately revealing their cards and showing that they haven’t learned anything in life and are once again on the wrong side of history. I genuinely wonder if the angry (non students) in these comments ever consider what their statements will look like in fifty years. These students are simply heroes and change will always be ushered in by young people, it’s upsetting to see the people in these comments so clearly supporting genocide and the wrong side of history. Kevin Macklin, you are lucky that you are not famous enough to be studied, for if you were history would recognize you for the genocide supporting terrorist you are. These kids are not followers of murder. You are. And if you were more significant perhaps everyone would remember the hate you spewed while on earth, luckily for us the students and their efforts will be remembered, while the hateful zionist ideology slowly fades out of the world. Jews and Palestinians are the future, Zionism never will be.

    • R

      Rebecca BerksonMay 8, 2024 at 10:40 AM

      What does Zionism mean to you? The definition of it before it was so demonized has been Israel’s right to exist.

      Its creation was in response to the repeated attempts to exterminate them or at the very least treat them as second-class citizens. According to the Anti Defamation League, the creation of Israel was meant “to provide Jews with a safe haven from the bigotry and endangerment they suffered perennially as a minority culture among non-Jewish majority cultures, and ensure that Jews have the same right to nationhood and self-determination as any other people, along with the same protections that are typically afforded to other nations.”

      Criticizing a country for its politics does not mean that country shouldn’t exist. We Americans criticize our own government all the time. But I believe the United States should exist. I believe every country has many things going right and wrong in it and its people are generally all trying to make it better all the time. They just have different views about how to do that. Here is an important distinction about Zionism, again from the ADL:

      “Zionism does not preclude support for Palestinian self-determination and statehood. For some Zionists, support for a two-state solution is the realization of self-determination for Jews and Palestinians alike.”

      While I disagree with the students protesting on college campuses, I respect they have the right to their own opinion, as long as they are peaceful and not destructive or intimidating other students, faculty or visitors. I believe they are trying to better the world.

      However, I would hope all students would show the same respect to others who do not agree with them. And not call them terrorists or supporters of genocide. We are lucky to live in a country where we can all have and espouse or opinions. But let’s not attack each other or call each other the most heinous names imaginable when we disagree.

    • K

      Kevin MacklinMay 9, 2024 at 8:58 AM

      You cannot separate Judaism and Zionism. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

      I’m lucky because I have the freedom to express my thoughts under my name. These kids protesting around the country are too scared to show their faces. They hide behind their masks because they know what they are doing is immoral.

      The ICJ did not convict Israel of genocide in Gaza. The only genocide that happened is when Hamas murdered, tortured, and raped Israeli civilians on October 7th.

      These kids have no idea what they are asking for, a “free Palestine”? Do they understand that the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is a dictatorship? Abbas has not allowed a free and fair election since 2005.

      These students need to do their own research. Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East. People of all races, religions, sexual orientation, etc. live freely in Israel. Under the Palestinian Authority, women are subjected to high levels of discrimination and gender-based violence. Homosexuals are also persecuted and subjected to violence under the PA.

  • K

    Kevin MacklinMay 1, 2024 at 7:46 PM

    These students are followers of Hamas. They condone the murder, rape, and torture of Jewish civilians to benefit their cause. They should be expelled.

    Dr. Hamzeh teaches antisemitism in her Palestine Studies classes. Under the course description, “resistance” is mentioned several times. This term is referring to the acceptance of terrorism, terroristic acts, and terrorist group acceptance by the Arab Palestinians. The teaching of terrorism as “resistance” should not be condoned at NMSU. As seen in the news lately, these teachings lead to riots, antisemitism, and the spread of terrorist propaganda on campuses.

    It is a false narrative to assume the Jewish people are occupiers in a land they have been on for several millennia. It is actually Palestine, which is a made up term by the Roman’s to erase Jewish identity to their land. The term “Palestinian” was adopted only for Muslims by the terrorist Yasser Arafat.

    Israel is the only democratic country and America’s best ally in the Middle East.

  • P

    Paul JaramilloMay 1, 2024 at 5:16 PM

    Those people with the protestors are criminals and bigots. They have no right to make demands on the college. Who gave them the right to tell the college who they can do business with. They don’t care what the terrorists of Hamas did to the people of Irsrael. Take your filthy camp somewhere else and let the college do its business of education and not indoctrination of radical leftists.

  • K

    KimMay 1, 2024 at 12:41 AM

    Be fair and balanced. Report the terrorist attack that started this war. During one of Israel’s holiest days, innocent civilian men women, and children were slaughtered, brutally raped and kidnapped from their homes. This was no casualty of war, this was an unprovoked, intentional act by a terrorist organization. Not expecting a country to retaliate against a terrorist attack, seek out their kidnapped citizens. and launch war to eradicate these terrorists is foolishness . Hamas does not care about the Palestinians and literally hid under hospitals and behind other innocent people. NMSU has students from all over the world including countries that are considered enemies of the USA, yet the Jewish people are the only ones targeted for a war that they did not start. How is this equal and welcoming for our Jewish NMSU students? Why are Jewish international students and organizations being targeted unfairly? I was too young to live through the time of the holocaust and never thought anyone in the world would ever again tolerate such abuse of a group of people based on their ethnicity. I am shocked and mortified that this is now the case and rather than condemn the terrorist attacks on October 7th, those acts have been largely ignored, especially on university campuses. Some people in the USA are actually praising the acts of Hamas- an organization that is willing to kill Jewish people for no reason, oppress women and openly kill LGBTQ individuals. I challenge you to write an article from the opposing view point. Signed an Alumni of NMSU