MILLIONS of dollars in damage at Cal Poly Humboldt campus after Gaza Camp takeover

Apr 30, 2024 | Political News

The administration of Cal Poly Humbolt released a statement on Sunday after the Gaza protesters took over a main building, Siemens Hall, occupying and vandalizing it for days. They said that the damage from the illegal activities of the students stretched into the millions. The students had renamed the building “Intifada Hall.” 

“Since the beginning, the University’s concern has not been the protest itself,” the statement read. “We have a long history of activism and civic engagement on this campus, and we unequivocally support the rights of students and others to assemble peacefully, to protest, and to have their voices heard. The concern in this case is the ongoing unlawful occupation of campus buildings by students and non-students and other criminal acts (e.g., vandalism, theft, destruction of state property, and intimidation of University employees). These ongoing occupations have also created safety hazards for those who have barricaded themselves inside, blocking exits to the building.” 

Footage of the building showed the extent of the damage. 

“This has nothing to do with free speech or freedom of inquiry,” the statement continued, “It is lawless behavior that has harmed the vast majority of our students whose education has been interrupted, damaged the reputation of our school, and drained resources from the accomplishment of our core educational purpose.” 

“Individuals inside Siemens Hall were repeatedly asked to move their demonstration outside into the University Quad, which is in the heart of the campus directly in front of the building. When they refused, they were warned multiple times to leave the building or face arrest for trespassing. When police attempted to enforce the order to disperse, individuals resisted arrest, which ended in a confrontation. When it was clear the situation was escalating, police withdrew for the safety of those inside the building and law enforcement officers.” 

“The University’s goal has always been to bring a peaceful end to the occupation, and we continue to talk to anyone willing to have productive and respectful dialogue,” the statement added.  

“While it’s too early to assess the cost of illegal activities, we estimate it to be in the millions. That includes damage done by theft, vandalism and graffiti, and the supplies and personnel needed to repair that, in addition to the loss of revenue from disruption to University operations.” 

“But the true cost has been the disruption of the education of our students who came here to learn and get a college degree.” 

Students and faculty reportedly occupied the main hall on the Humbolt campus. This prompted university officials to close the campus while the protest was underway. Key cards stopped working as students and faculty were urged to stay away.  

“The campus will continue to be closed through Wednesday, April 24 for the safety of the campus community as protestors continue occupying Siemens Hall,” Humboldt officials wrote in a notice posted to the university website last Tuesday. As of Mon, Apr 29, the closure was still in effect.