hit tracker USF students continue hunger strike, university not budging – Newsmix.pics

USF students continue hunger strike, university not budging

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Students at the University of Florida are 12 days into a hunger strike and it is taking its toll.

The students are demanding the university divest from companies they believe are enabling the Israel-Hamas conflict. The demonstration has continued, despite an order from the university’s president, calling on them to cease and desist.

Originally, 18 people were participating in the hunger strike. Now, only five remain. Those students have been starving themselves for nearly two weeks.

“Our demands have gone completely unheard, and if they truly wanted us to stop hunger striking, which of course we want to do, they would concede to our demands,” student Alina Atiq said.

The student-led group, Students for Socialism is demanding USF call for a ceasefire in Gaza and divest from companies they said are supporting Israel. They also want the university to publicize its investment portfolio.

“So, we really do want to see more empathy from USF that they care about their students, that they care that there are students who have lost their loved ones in Gaza, that they care that there are students who are hunger striking and putting their bodies on the line,” Atiq said.

USF isn’t budging, and the students aren’t either. Will Mleczko is still not eating, even though he had to seek medical attention earlier this week.

“Obviously, means a lot to me. This means a lot to the whole community. So, really just doing whatever I can because there’s, you know, millions of people that are suffering much more than me in Gaza right now,” Mleczko said.

At a USF Board of Trustees meeting last week, the administration told students they do not directly invest in companies, and state law prohibits the school from making investment decisions based on politics.

“We do not select individual stocks for companies or investment. Instead, the university contracts with fund managers to invest in a variety of asset classes, which include companies in most major industries,” said a member of the board.

The university issued a statement saying they will not be acting on any of the groups demands and continues to have concerns about the risk associated with the hunger strike.

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