top of page

YDSA and SJP Hold Vigil for Palestinian People on Academic Podium

By Mattie Fitzpatrick | November 13, 2023

Students gather for the vigil on the Academic Podium.

Photo Credit: Mattie Fitzpatrick / The ASP

The University at Albany’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) hosted a vigil on Thursday, Nov. 9. Students gathered on the Academic Podium to remember those lost in the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

“I’m hoping to accomplish that there will be definitely more coverage on what is happening in Palestine and just people seeing and showing respect to the martyrs of the innocent kids, women, and men and all of the people in Palestine,” Sakina Tariq, Public Relations Chair for SJP and Off-Campus Senator for the Student Association, said.

Students were given a chance to remember the victims in Gaza with speakers, including Maceo Foster and Tariq among others, highlighting the lives of those lost and putting an emphasis on the humanity of those caught in the conflict.

“Can you imagine living with the fear of your parents dying, or wondering when your siblings will have food to eat, or if you’re even going to wake up tomorrow?” one speaker asked.

The podium for speakers at the vigil.

Photo Credit: Mattie Fitzpatrick / The ASP

Recently, posters have been posted on the Academic Podium drawing attention to those currently missing in Gaza. A number of events and demonstrations connected to the conflict have occurred over the past weeks as students made their voices heard.

This comes after Dr. Michael Christakis, the Vice President for Student Affairs, released a statement on the conflict in Gaza. “We continue to watch the crisis unfold in Israel and the Gaza Strip and grieve the violence and senseless loss of life,” the statement reads.

However the statement was met with criticism from students including Maceo Foster, co-chair of YDSA, who spoke at the vigil on Thursday. “I think the University’s response has been subpar at best,” said Foster. “...the university released a statement on the violence that unfolded on Oct. 7, which was interesting considering they’ve been silent about everything that has happened to Palestinians, not only for the last 75 years, but this year alone.”


bottom of page