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Auraria Campus: Human waste reported as protests continue

In World
May 15, 2024

DENVER (KDVR) — Auraria Campus officials say there are health and safety concerns at an encampment protest against the war in Gaza.

There are safety concerns with more unhoused people within the encampment, according to campus officials, and more health issues with trash and human waste.

Auraria Campus has second lockdown in days after protesters pitch tents inside

Officials also claim the number of students in this protest dropped from half to about a third since it started in late April.

“The encampment is nearing the capacity of the quad from a square footage perspective and has even begun spilling over into adjacent, grassy areas,” said Devra Ashby, an Auraria Higher Education Center spokesperson.

This comes as officials report deteriorating health conditions in and around the encampment.

“Human waste on or around the quad has been observed as a result of poorly maintained, temporary bathroom facilities that the protesters have illegally placed on the quad,” Ashby said.

That waste is now being found further from the encampment, around other parts of the Auraria campus, according to campus officials.

“Parents of students and staff have submitted complaints to campus administrators with pictures of feces near and around their vehicles parked near the quad,” Ashby said.

Pro-Palestinian protesters continue to camp on the Tivoli Quad at the Auraria Campus in Denver as seen from SkyFOX on May 3, 2024.

Pro-Palestinian protesters continue to camp on the Tivoli Quad at the Auraria Campus in Denver as seen from SkyFOX on May 3, 2024.

Students have maintained they are not the ones causing issues, but for officials, the concern has pivoted to who it might be and how that is worsening health and safety violations here.

“The homeless population on the quad, amongst the protesters, has continued to grow over the week,” Ashby said.

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Campus officials said facility managers at Auraria are not equipped to accommodate a large encampment.

Adding to their concerns, campus police recently responded to an incident involving slashed bicycle and scooter tires by someone who students said was wielding a knife near the quad. That person was not found.

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