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

UPDATE: Pro-Palestinian rally unifies members of NMSU community, pushes for ceasefire and disclosure of university funding 

David Castañeda
Members of the local Pro-Palestian group, Las Cruces for Palestine, have camped out in the Aggie Forest since Monday, April 29, 2024

A week has passed since the Las Cruces for Palestine group, consisting of students and community members, set up an encampment at Aggie Forest.  

On Thursday, May 2, a group of around 50 protesters marched from the Corbett Center Student Union Outdoor Stage to the horseshoe for their second march, named “NMSU Student and Faculty Walkout for Palestine”.  

They invited all community members to join them as they marched and repeated the demands and resolutions they are seeking.  

“It means a lot to see people come out and stand in solidarity and stand on the right side of history like that. It’s heartwarming to see where actions especially here on campus, because student movements historically that’s where, whether you like to believe it or not, that’s where major change is happening — the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War protests, the Iraq War protests,” said a student protester who wished to remain anonymous.  

“All of these were, for a large part of time, student led. And this is just a space where people have the opportunity and the education to make a serious statement.”  

As protests continue at college campuses across the country, the protesters are calling for NMSU and other educational institutions in New Mexico to divest all funds that support Israel.  

The demonstration in support of the Palestinian people emphasized the importance of keeping all protests peaceful.  

The protesters said that other activists are affected by violence on other campuses like the University of New Mexico, but are encouraged that their efforts have remained peaceful at NMSU. They also highlighted the urgency of calling local government officials to vote for a ceasefire resolution.  

University administration reached out to the group of protesters and started conversation after receiving their letter taken to Hadley Hall on Monday, April 29. 

Las Cruces for Palestine held a student and faculty walk-out on Thursday, May 2. April 29, 2024. (David Castañeda)

In a message to the university on Wednesday, Mónica Torres, NMSU’s new interim president, addressed the recent protests and said that the American people have the right to protest peacefully and that public universities have a duty to protect this right.  

She also stated that efforts are being made to maintain security on campus, and that a team of university leaders met with the protesters after they camped out to foster an open dialogue and ensure that their voices are heard. 

One faculty member involved in the movement mentioned that little information was disclosed, but that the dialogue remains open; although, the group is primarily seeking a resolution from the City Council on their ceasefire demand.  

“They’ve been studying for the exams. I’m checking on them. And they’re okay. Everybody in the community brings some food and drinks and they’re doing well,” said Palestinian professor and co-founder of the Department of Borderlands and Ethnic Studies, Manal Hamzeh.   

“NMSU is setting an example of beauty, how they listen to their students,” she added. “How they open the space for free speech and continue to learn and teach the students. “We are showing a different way of dealing with this crisis — with this genocide — differently than any other university. This is going to shine a light on how NMSU is an incredible space for students on all levels for them to learn and for them to teach and do their research.”  

Protesters march up International Mall waving a Palestinian flag. April 29, 2024. (David Castañeda)

Through their Instagram page yesterday, the Las Cruces for Palestine organization shared a letter from NMSU’s interim president emphasizing the groups’ right to free speech along with the fostering of an open dialogue and academic freedom.  

The letter also mentions the lack of “international footprint” the university has, regarding investments, exchange programs and research collaborations.  

NMSU claims that the university does not have any direct investments with educational institutions outside of the United States. A copy of the institution’s financial investments was also disclosed. 

Interim President Mónica Torres also made mention of the safety concerns the university has for overnight camping and advised the members of the encampment to consider other peaceful means to continue their efforts. Torres stated that the group will be contacted to further their dialogue after final exams are over. 

The group also shared their discontent with the most recent City Council Meeting. They mentioned their disgust with the City Council members, including mayor Eric Enriquez who voted to remove the Ceasefire Resolution from Monday’s agenda. 

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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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