Dear Wake Forest community,

Around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, a group of approximately 20 students began demonstrating peacefully on Hearn Plaza in solidarity with pro-Palestine activists on campuses across the country. The demonstration transitioned to assembling tents on Hearn Plaza around 6:30 p.m. Administrators informed students that erecting tents and remaining overnight was inconsistent with the intended and approved use of the space and violated health and safety policies. 

Throughout the evening, our shared goal was to keep everyone safe and avoid disruption of our academic mission and planned campus activities. It was a priority to seek a peaceful outcome. Administrators and the organizers of the demonstration remained in dialogue throughout the evening, night and early morning, and reached an agreement shortly after 9 a.m. that led to students agreeing to take down the tents in the encampment.

University security was present throughout the evening to ensure the safety of everyone involved. No additional law enforcement agencies were engaged or present on campus. 

We respect and uphold the rights of our community to peacefully assemble, and are committed to protecting free expression while ensuring the safety of all on campus. This requires us to uphold our policies and practices in support of a campus environment conducive to our academic mission. 

Students will be permitted to continue to demonstrate, in accordance with our policies and in an area designated by the University for free expression with appropriate displays, which may include signage and unoccupied tents without an encampment.

We want to thank the administrators, staff, faculty and students who facilitated and engaged in dialogue toward a peaceful resolution. 

A deep commitment to dialogue and civil discourse, in addition to our care for one another, are hallmarks of Wake Forest’s identity and values. In this difficult moment for higher education, the U.S., and our global communities, we will continue to uphold this commitment and ask for each member of our community to do so as well.


Susan R. Wente

Shea Kidd Brown
Vice President for Campus Life

Michele Gillespie

Jackie Travisano
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

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