The Peace Quad encampment officially disassembled on Friday, its third day, shortly before a 5 p.m. deadline imposed by Binghamton University administration.

The eventful third day saw a letter of support from a group of faculty, stalled talks between administrators and encampment leaders, warnings sent to protestors and a heavy police presence that saw the county sheriff and state troopers on campus.

“Due to the largely marginalized makeup of the encampment, which reflects the diverse nature of our coalition, and not wanting to especially endanger our non-white, disabled and queer comrades — who face a magnified threat of police brutality and disproportionate legal consequences, a collective decision was made by the community in the Liberated Zone to take this victory as another step forward without letting our movement be decapitated,” organizers wrote in a Saturday Instagram post.

Early Friday morning, a letter signed by a Faculty Committee in Support of the Binghamton Encampment began circulating. Signed by faculty representing over 12 departments and programs, the letter expressed respect, care and pride for protestors, who, upon establishing the encampment, quickly organized infrastructure and donations to sustain the demonstration.

“You have created joy and love, even as you protest war and death,” the letter reads. “You are rehearsing a better future for all [of] us, right here, by holding space with your tents, bullhorn and committed political engagement.”

In the mid-morning, activists from Veterans for Peace, a local anti-war group, came to support demonstrators. They held signs in support of a cease-fire and against the defense industry.

In the afternoon, around 2:30 p.m., letters from the Office of Student Conduct, obtained by Pipe Dream, were sent to protestors in the Liberated Zone. They reiterated the 5 p.m. deadline, threatening consequences for those in noncompliance.

“If you are observed participating in the encampment after that time, your name will be provided to [the] office for further conduct review,” the letter reads. “If it becomes necessary to pursue disciplinary action, the University will impose interim suspension and will recommend the most severe sanctions for those found in violation.”

Around 4 p.m., the encampment was disassembled and demonstrators began a march to the Pegasus statue. They criticized University administration for ignoring students’ demands and for the heavy police presence.

“Stenger has chosen to threaten to send riot cops to crack the heads of his own students who he ‘so emphatically claims to care about,’ because divestment from the state of Israel and the military-industrial complex threatens the income of BU and the SUNY system,” one speaker said.

In a B-Line News Addition sent to the campus community at 5:46 p.m., Stenger thanked organizers for peacefully disbanding “their encampment at the conclusion of their exemption period.”

“I sincerely appreciate the manner in which members of the campus community have expressed themselves while respecting the beliefs and the rights of others,” Stenger wrote in an email to the campus community. “I look forward to meeting with these student groups, offering support and listening to concerns.”

Established on Wednesday night following a Palestine Solidarity Festival, the encampment was constructed to stand in solidarity with Gazans and advocate for BU to divest from the defense industry. It followed the passage of a Student Association (SA) Congress resolution expressing the SA’s support for implementing principles of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions — three causes of which were struck down by the SA Judicial Board.

The BU encampment mirrors a heightened national climate for student activism. Encampments at many leading universities, like Columbia, UCLA and the University of Texas at Austin, have drawn severe academic consequences, police violence and scrutiny from politicians.

Other SUNY campuses, including Stony Brook University, the University at Buffalo and Purchase College, have seen violent crackdowns, an outcome organizers said they had hoped to avoid.

“Our encampment was a practice of hope as a discipline and a way of life,” they wrote. “We came together to protect one another, we made space for joy and learning, and we imagined a brighter future — one free from oppressive violence.”

Editor’s Note: Faces have been blurred for safety and privacy reasons.