DePaul FEST canceled amid 'current campus environment,' university says

End of year activities at the university are being adjusted, spokeswoman said

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
DePaul FEST canceled amid 'current campus environment': university
FEST, the DePaul University end of year festival, has been canceled amid an ongoing encampment protest on the school's Lincoln Park quad.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- DePaul University has canceled its end of year FEST, citing the "current campus environment," as an encampment remains in place on the school's quad.

A spokeswoman for the school said Tuesday that end of year activities at the university are being adjusted.

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A message sent to students Monday said, "Given the current campus environment, FEST 2024 cannot proceed as planned. We will refund all student and guest tickets in full to those who have already purchased tickets.

"We have heard from a number of students-particularly the class of 2024 whose high school graduations and first year of college were disrupted by the pandemic-that they are still are seeking to have traditional student activities as they end the academic year. Our goal is to honor these students' wishes however we can."

FEST was supposed to be held Friday on the quad, but a pro-Palestinian an encampment has been in place there for over two weeks.

DePaul gave the protesters a deadline of noon Sunday, but the encampment has remained in place.

Demonstrators say they've reached a stalemate with the university. Negotiations are at an impasse after the school refused to meet their demands.

It is one of the last remaining encampments on college campuses in the Chicago area. DePaul student demonstrators remain steadfast in their mission.

The protesters have called for a cease-fire in Gaza, and organizers of the encampment want the university to be transparent about investments in Israel.

The demonstration has been on the quad since April 30.

Students told ABC7 Chicago they are preparing for and coming up with plans in case the university tries to forcibly clear the encampment themselves.

This is the first time FEST has been canceled since the COVID pandemic in 2020.