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Pro-Palestine protestors gather on K College's Day of Gracious Giving

A banner on a brick building with flag of Palestine that says silence is violence
Jessi Phillips
A banner on the campus of Kalamazoo College Wednesday. Protestors want K College to publicly support a ceasefire and cancel its study abroad program in Israel.

The student protestors are encouraging alumni to withhold donations until K College divests from Israel.

Several dozen students gathered on Kalamazoo College’s campus Wednesday to support a ceasefire in Gaza. They also want the college to divest from companies that support Israel, cancel its study abroad to Israel, and offer more Arabic language courses.

The protest was held on the college’s annual Day of Gracious Giving. The one-day fundraising effort raises money for financial aid and scholarships.

Suha Qashou is the President of the K College chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. The group is encouraging alumni to withhold donations until the college agrees to divest.  

“We’re here to raise awareness about the Day of Gracious Giving and why it's important for alumni not to donate while there’s silence happening,” she said. “And where they should donate instead, which is to the people in Gaza.”

Malcolm Smith is the Dean of Students at K College. He says the school does not take sides in geopolitical issues, but it supports students' right to protest.

“I think we deeply care about our students and we respect their ability to speak out, to use their first amendment rights, and we will continue to do that,” he said. “And they also understand their parameters are our code of conduct, and we won’t make false parameters around this issue.”

He says K College has a socially responsible investment committee. Students can go through a formal process to request that the college divest from certain companies.