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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

State representative visits Dickinson Pro-Palestine encampment

Students meeting with State Representative Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) at the pro-Palestine encampment on Britton Plaza

State Representative Chris Rabb, a Democrat from Philadelphia, came to speak to the pro-Palestinian encampment on Britton Plaza on Tuesday night.

Rabb has visited several schools in the state holding encampments. While in Harrisburg for the legislative session, he came to the encampment, and encouraged colleagues to visit the Dickinson encampment.

“This is very impressive and very important,” Rabb said when discussing the encampment. Rabb discussed how he was involved with similar protests during his time at Yale against South African Apartheid. “It’s so much bigger than this one moment,” Rabb said, adding that the protesters are on the right side of history.

Rabb mentioned the student organizers’ concerns around the college’s investments, saying “You can tell the real politics of any organization by looking at its board, and its budget.” A key concern of the protesters is transparency around the school’s funding, and whether there is any support to the Israeli military or corporations. The group’s other concerns, based on an April 27 Instagram post, include removal of Michael Smerconish as the 2024 commencement speaker due to prior comments about Arab Americans and Islam, and the creation of a scholarship fund for prospective Palestinian students.

Rabb said he came to the encampment to show support for the organizers, and to show that there is at least one elected official supporting them. He said he came to the event not as a Democrat but as a supporter, saying “I have deep concerns with our president, on this issue in particular,” referring to the U.S handling of Israel and Gaza.

“I think it’s really, really important that we had an elected official validate us … cause we feel we are being neglected by the administration and the president,” Conor Caneday ’25 said.

“To see somebody in a position of power come out here and show us support means a lot,” Sara Dayya ’26 said. “It makes me think things are changing for the better” she went on to say.

“I’m really proud of the community that has come together and showed up for Gaza, and other students globally in solidarity,” said Emma Rodrigues ’25. “It’s been really beautiful to see everybody come out in support of Gaza.”

Rabb’s grandmother, Madeline Murphy, was an adjunct professor at Dickinson during the 1970s who created a first year sociology class, “Perspectives of Race.” Rabb said Murphy inspired his initial run for public office.

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About the Contributor
Walker Kmetz
Walker Kmetz, Life & Style Editor

Walker is a sophomore and the Life & Style Editor for the 2022-23 year. He is from Shavertown, Pa. and is majoring in political science. His favorite articles he’s written are on when John E. Jones became Dickinson’s President, and on the opening of the Trout Gallery exhibit Queering the Muse. Outside of The Dickinsonian, he works as an editorial assistant with Professor Cotten Seiler for the journal Transfers, and is a member of WDCV, Random Acts of Kindness, and Dickinson Votes. In his free time, he enjoys photography, listening to new music, and playing video games.

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