The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


NYPD Campus Presence To Persist Through Graduation

Following the pro-Palestinian encampment, the university has requested law enforcement presence through May 22
Members of the NYPD handled the growing crowd outside the Leon Lowenstein Center throughout the day of May 1.

Fordham Public Safety requested the presence of the New York Police Department (NYPD) in a letter to Deputy Commissioner Legal Matters Michael Gerber on May 1. The letter requested that the NYPD help “clear all individuals from the encampment (and) retain a presence on campus through at least May 22, 2024 (when Commencement and diploma ceremonies are completed) to maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.”

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Operations Kaz Daughtry shared the letter on X, formerly known as Twitter, at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1, alongside a video of officers arresting students and alumni in the Leon Lowenstein Center while a crowd gathered outside. NYPD had been on campus since approximately 9 a.m. in response to the encampment and solidarity protests.

“Your @NYPDnews officers continue to protect the right to peacefully protest, but lawlessness will not be tolerated,” Daughtry said in the post. “Without incident, we have placed the individuals who refused to disperse from the unlawful encampment inside a @FordhamNYC building under arrest.”

Robert Fitzer, associate vice president of Public Safety, announced the “increased presence of NYPD officers around the campus perimeter” in an email sent to members of the campus community shortly after 8 p.m. on May 1. The email also specified that the main entrance to the Leon Lowenstein Center would reopen at 7 a.m. on May 2 and that the plaza would remain closed until further notice. 

When the main entrance to the Leon Lowenstein Center reopened, two NYPD officers and a Public Safety officer stood outside guarding the entrance. The path to the front door was also outlined in metal barricades.

Eleven of the 15 individuals arrested are currently enrolled as Fordham students, according to Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications.

University President Tania Tetlow addressed the Fordham community in an email on Wednesday evening stating that the NYPD had arrested 15 people for misdemeanor trespassing on campus. She wrote that the university believes “some of those were Fordham students.”

Eleven of the 15 individuals arrested are currently enrolled as Fordham students, according to Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications. The additional four arrested are alumni.

Tetlow explained that administrators “take both the passion and the safety of our students very seriously.” She also said that the university “draw(s) the line at intrusions into a classroom building, especially by people who are not members of our community.” 

“Know that we have increased security at both campuses, to strengthen the walls and gates that allow us to avoid outside intrusion at this moment,” Tetlow wrote in the email. “And also know that we remain committed to permitting peaceful protests that still allow the rest of our student body to continue their studies.”

U.S. President Joe Biden addressed the ongoing protests nationwide in an unscheduled press conference at approximately 11 a.m. on May 2, emphasizing the right to peaceful protest while stating that “dissent must never lead to disorder.”

“Violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is,” Biden said. “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest; it’s against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation. None of this is a peaceful protest.”

Biden declined to take questions from reporters following his remarks but said that the protests have not prompted him to reconsider his policy with regard to military aid to Israel. He also said “no” in response to a reporter fielding comment on possible intervention by the National Guard. 

Rachel Hermes, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’26, disapproved of the police’s response to yesterday’s encampment.

“There’s no one out here. They’re just intimidating people. There’s no point, go home, they don’t belong here,” Hermes said. 

Hermes said she found the protests “inspiring” but the police response “absolutely terrifying.” 

Members of the NYPD will remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, until May 22.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that thirteen of the arrested individuals were students. As of May 3, the article has been updated to reflect the correct number of students. 

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About the Contributors
ANA KEVORKIAN, Former Managing Editor
Ana Kevorkian (she/her), FCLC ’24, is the former managing editor at The Fordham Observer. This is her third year with The Observer, having previously served as head copy editor, and she is so excited to serve the organization which has given her so much in this capacity. When she’s not doing Observer-related tasks, you can find her watching movies (see: “Fordham Cinephiles Can Finally Know Peace”), listening to Taylor Swift, reading and wandering the city aimlessly.
COLBY MCCASKILL, Features Editor
Colby McCaskill (he/him), FCLC ‘26, is the head features editor at The Observer. He hails originally from Seattle, Washington, where he fell in love with film photography. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in history. Colby loves to read the New Yorker and go jogging in the rain.  

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