5 UC Merced Board of Trustees Meet with Protesters on Campus |

MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Thursday was the last day of the UC Merced Board of Trustees meeting, and protesters returned once again to make their voices heard.

A meeting was agreed between some regents and protesters, but not without some bumps in the road.

The third and final day of the UC Board of Regents meeting concluded Thursday at UC Merced.

“I don’t know how you can stand here in front of us and act like everything is okay when it actually isn’t. Protect your students, do the right thing and divest now,” one protester said during public comment on the final day of the Board of Regents meeting.

Only a few hundred meters from this meeting, a pro-Palestinian encampment has remained since May 12. Protesters say they hope for more dialogue between them and the UC regents.

“In our negotiations with the administration, we are asking them to use their positionality to try to get us meetings with some of the most senior regents rather than the student regents,” said Ari Huffman, student representative for justice in Palestine.

Around noon, six UC regents approached the encampments to speak to protesters during their lunch break. But there wasn’t much dialogue shared.

“We brought in six members of the board of regents, they also had a security team. However, there were two hecklers. We had six seats reserved for the Regents. And two of the hecklers took those seats and then intercepted every time we tried to ask a question,” said Noorulain Irshad, representative of Students for Justice in Palestine.

When the regents returned to their meeting, the Hecklers also left the camp.

Around 3:30 p.m., five regents returned to the encampment to answer questions and speak for an hour on topics such as divestment from Israel.

It’s unclear how long the camp will remain now that the UC regents are leaving Merced and the summer semester begins May 20.

“Until we are able to get tangible, written next steps provided by the administration, we will continue to organize throughout the summer with the other UCs and hopefully return more strong as a system-wide unit,” Huffman said.