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

Pro-Palestine protest at NMSU results in student arrests, tension between police and protesters  

Photo courtesy of Justin Garcia at The Las Cruces Bulletin.

New Mexico State University police arrested pro-Palestine protesters on campus Thursday after they conducted a sit-in at Hadley Hall, the university’s administrative building. 

Members of the Las Cruces for Palestine group arrived at the building around 4:15 p.m. to resubmit their demands for NMSU administrators, including publicly calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, disclosing all academic and institutional investments, and severing ties from any organizations that “profit from and contribute to the genocide of Palestinians.” The protesters proceeded to sit in a circle, chant and sing. They remained in the lobby of the building after it closed at 5 p.m. 

In a statement released via email and NMSU social media accounts on Friday, Interim President Mónica Torres said that NMSU police detained 13 people on various charges, including felony criminal damage to property, felony battery on a peace officer, and misdemeanors for criminal trespass and resisting/obstructing an officer. She also stated that a window was broken during the protest and parts of the building’s exterior were graffitied overnight.  

“Much like other universities around the country, we have seen students, faculty and community members participating in Palestinian solidarity demonstrations on our campus for the past two weeks,” the statement read. “We have said from the beginning that people in the U.S. have a Constitutional right to protest peacefully. People do not, however, have a right to interfere with university operations, damage property, or to spit on or strike police officers.” 

In a clip from a livestream of the protest posted to the group’s Instagram, video shows an NMSU police officer grabbing a protester, who was hitting on the building’s door, and throwing them to the ground. Torres’ letter made no mention of this encounter. 

The group also shared a transcribed conversation with Teresa Maria Linda Scholz, Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, in which she encouraged protestors to leave before the police arrested them, saying that she was concerned for their safety. A member of the protest group is heard on the transcription asking her to convince police officers to allow a legal observer inside the building. Scholz declined, saying “that’s in the police’s hands.” 

Torres said in her letter that “various university leaders” had met with protesters since April 29 to “ensure all voices were being heard and to de-escalate tensions.” She added that they would continue to take necessary steps to keep students safe. Torres also mentioned that commencement ceremonies would continue over the weekend as scheduled. 

Protesters had marched from the Corbett Outdoor Stage to the NMSU horseshoe a week before the sit-in on Thursday, May 2, repeating their demands to the administration and inviting students, staff and community members to join them. As The Round Up previously reported, pro-Palestine protesters at NMSU had felt encouraged that their efforts had remained peaceful and that violent escalations had not yet occurred.  

The Las Cruces for Palestine encampment left the Aggie Forest on Monday, May 6. In a letter sent to the group by President Torres, which was posted on the group’s Instagram last week, Torres encouraged the protesters to continue their efforts “through other peaceful means.” In the same post, the group told supporters, “The fight is not over, the front has changed. Be ready.” 

This is a developing story. The Round Up will provide updates as they become available.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Anne Andrews
Elizabeth Anne Andrews, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Anne Andrews is starting her first semester with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is currently a freshman at NMSU, majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. She grew up in a military family so she’s lived all over the US and Germany. Ever since she was young, Elizabeth Anne has always been curious about everything around her. It comes from experiencing different cultures and being homeschooled, both opportunities which allowed her to grow in her independence and creativity. In her free time, Elizabeth Anne enjoys writing poems, listening to music, or hanging out with her three siblings and cat.
Riley Robertson
Riley Robertson, Editor-in-Chief
Riley Robertson is in her second year with The Round Up as the Editor-in-Chief. She is a junior at NMSU double majoring in Journalism & Media Studies and English with a concentration in creative writing. She was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and graduated from Eldorado High School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the journalism program. Riley has two sisters and comes from a large blended family. Robertson has had a lifelong passion for writing and enjoys writing both creatively and professionally. She typically spends most of her free time with family and friends, reading, doing yoga, or listening to music. Riley has aspirations of working for a prestigious magazine after college. She hopes to take her learning experiences at The Round Up into all of her future career endeavors.

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  • K

    Kevin MacklinMay 15, 2024 at 9:08 AM

    These “protesters” are showing their true colors. This is not a protest, it has turned in to a riot. They don’t want a ceasefire, they want violence just like the Arab terrorists they appear to have “solidarity” with. They are bringing the same hatred that Hamas terrorists had on October 7.

    We never had so many anti-Semites on campus when I was a student. I’m glad to see the police are doing their jobs. I called the NMSU police department to commend the officers for a job well done. Any violence by these rioters should land them in jail with a felony charge. For the safety of all students, anyone involved should be expelled from campus.