Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

BREAKING: Faculty release letter to arrested students

Editors Note: The Maroon received this letter from professor Nathan Henne as a joint effort between faculty in support of students arrested at the Loyola and Tulane pro-Palestine encampment earlier this week. Henne said he encourages more faculty to sign before the students’ court hearings on Monday, May 6.


To Our Loyola Students Arrested this Week:

We are deeply disturbed by the Loyola administration’s lack of context in its response to the excessively violent actions by security forces on the morning of May 1, 2024 against you. The undersigned faculty do not pretend that we can all agree on the many difficult and nuanced underlying issues involved in the crisis in Palestine and Israel. However, we can all come together to use our amplified voices to denounce the excessive force used by police against our unarmed students participating in civil disobedience, a tradition that has played such an important role in this nation’s tortured history. The administration’s failure to acknowledge the disproportionate violence used against our students on the morning of 1 May is unacceptable.

Furthermore, we cannot sit by silently in light of the administration’s singular focus on the legal issue of trespassing as justification for their subsequent direct threats to weaponize the student code of conduct against our students. Trespassing is not a simple legal concept that we can unilaterally condemn. After all, Loyola often (rightly) celebrates great “trespassers” in US history as heroes. For example, all of the students who participated in sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement were trespassers on private property. We could name many more who have forced their way into the dialogue and forced a reckoning by “trespassing,” a concept which itself has deep roots in coloniality and genocide. In fact, if we take an intellectually honest view of the notion of “trespassing,” both Loyola and Tulane Universities are currently trespassing on unceded Chitimacha land. Taking into account this wider context, we will not stand by as official statements fail to acknowledge these very real complications and demonize Loyola students.

Several of us have taught you in our classes and we know you personally and intellectually: you are great students—among the most consistent, hard-working, and critical thinking in our classes. You are students who exemplify in the classroom and in your lives the many values we hold dear at Loyola. You do not deserve to be categorically vilified by the administration in shaping their response to these events for whatever political reasons. It is perhaps understandable (for legal reasons) that the administration includes some of the statements that it does; but it should not make those statements in a vacuum without also: 1) strongly denouncing the exaggerated violence wrought directly on our students; and 2) acknowledging its own complicated relationship to notions of trespassing, both historical and current.

The issues at hand are complex, but they are not complex only in the Western Asian context (where the administration is careful to acknowledge the complexities). They are also complex and full of nuance on the ground in our beloved city and university and we ask the administration to acknowledge this complexity, too, as our students figure out meaningful ways to grapple with these complexities as they work to shape a better world. We are urging the administration to refrain from bringing charges of alleged Code of Conduct violations against Loyola students arrested in the police action on May 1.

[This document has not yet been made available to all faculty to sign because it started as an effort among just a few of us and spread organically from there. We are going to send the link to sign the document out to the entire faculty, but are sending this to the Maroon now because of the importance of getting this expression of support out to you asap and not wanting to delay any further. We will send out a link to all faculty and will update the signatures periodically.]

Sincerely the undersigned faculty members of Loyola University New Orleans,

Nathan Henne
Pablo Zavala
Adil Khan
Isabel Medina
Mark Yakich
Isabel Duarte Gray
Cody Melcher
Diana Soto Olson
Annie McGlynn-Wright
Tracey Watts
Jaita Talukdar
Kendra Reed
Joe Berendzen
Elizabeth Watkins
John Dewell
Stephanie Gaskill
Sarah Allison
Allison Edgren
Erin McCullugh
Benan Grams
Catherine Wessinger
Dawson McCall
Marcus Kondkar
Lindsay Sproul
Christopher Torres
Tim Cahill
Tiago Fernandes Maranhão
Sarah Stillwell
Samar Sarmini
Emily Ratner
LeAnne Steen
Kevin Foose
Denise Gilstrap


Faculty can contact [email protected] with inquiries and to sign the letter.

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Kloe Witt
Kloe Witt, Managing Editor for Digital
Kloe Witt currently serves as The Maroon's Managing Editor for Digital. Kloe is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and environmental studies, though is interested in pursuing a career in media services for recreational therapy camps. In their free time, Kloe is usually watching Criminal Minds, listening to Taylor Swift, or reading new books. Kloe can be reached [email protected].

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  • L

    LoganMay 4, 2024 at 8:08 pm

    Heartened to see this display of compassion and courage, and from familiar names. The administrative response has been so unacceptable

  • A

    A momMay 4, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    As a parent, I needed to read this and appreciate it deeply. Thank you to all the faculty who support our courageous youth.