Gregory L. Fenves

Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves.

Credit: Courtesy Emory

Emory University’s undergraduate students have voted in favor of a no-confidence resolution against President Gregory L. Fenves.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, approximately 3,400 of Emory’s 8,100 undergraduate students voted on the referendum. Of those who voted, 2,499 voted in favor of the motion, 844 voted against it, and 58 students abstained.

The university’s Student Government Association (SGA) said in a statement that “31% of the total undergraduate student body voted in favor of the motion. While we take any concerns expressed by members of our community seriously, Emory community members are sharing a wide range of perspectives that are not reflected in the motion passed by SGA.”

The resolution follows a similar no-confidence vote taken last week by the school’s arts and sciences faculty. The resolution is non-binding as only the board of trustees can fire the president. 

Fenves has received withering criticism over his response to pro-Palestinian and Stop Cop City protesters on campus. On April 25, 28 people were arrested after clashing with campus police, Atlanta Police, and the Georgia State Patrol. 

Fenves was forced to walk back comments that the protesters were outside agitators when it was revealed that most of those arrested were students and faculty.

The Emory Wheel reports that during a webinar with students this week, Fenves said charges would not be dropped against protesters who broke the law.

When asked if Emory plans to meet protestors’ demands to divest from Israel and the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, commonly known as “Cop City,” Fenves said he does not support doing so.

Emory announced this week that it would move commencement ceremonies to Gas South Arena and Convention Center in Gwinnett County for “safety and security.”

This story comes to GPB through an editorial partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta.