UPenn encampment: Gov Shapiro calls for protesters to disband as 6 are banned from school grounds

Tensions are rising on campus as the encampment expands and as six protesters are temporarily banned from school grounds.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is calling for the encampment at the University of Pennsylvania to disband.

The comments came hours after the encampment grew in size and as university sanctions were levied against some of those protesting students.

Six Penn students say they were sent emails from the University informing them they were officially "on leave" from the Ivy League institution for their part in the recent pro-Palestinian protests on campus.

"In extraordinary circumstances, when a student’s presence on campus is deemed by the University to be a threat to order, health, safety or the conduct of the University’s educational mission" read the email in part sent by the University Provost to student protester Sonya Stacia. The junior from Virginia says she informed her parents of the news in a phone call.

Another student from the Philippines says all of her official university access has been cut off.

"I have been denied access to my student dorm. My Penn Card no longer works and I am prohibited from entering any Penn facility. I am an international student from the Philippines. I don’t have any family to go back home to here," says sophomore Eliana Atienza.


Tensions rise on UPenn campus as pro-Palestinian encampments remain despite university letter to disband

Pro-Palestine protestors remain on University of Pennsylvania's campus with encampments set up, despite the university's letter to disband, saying the protest on campus goes against university policies.

The disciplinary move happened as the two-week encampment expanded to the other side of the College Green. Governor Josh Shapiro called for the encampment to shut down, saying the situation over the last 24 hours has become more unstable.

"More rules have been broken. Laws have been violated. That is absolutely unacceptable. All students should feel safe when they’re on campus. All students have a legal right to feel safe on campus," Shapiro said.

The University also announced an increase of security for its May 20th commencement at Franklin Field. Guests should expect "airport style" security screening and identification checks for graduates. Signs, posters, flags and noisemakers are also prohibited.

Back at the encampment, there are no signs of disbanding. Demanding a divestment of university endowments from Israeli-owned organizations supporting the war in Gaza, the protesters say they’ll be here as long as they need to be.

"We have a robust community here that demonstrates we are on the side of justice and that we will not stop until justice is served," said Stacia.

Meanwhile, a petition is being circulated by a Jewish student at Penn calling for an FBI investigation into Penn’s encampment. The petition has garnered 2,000 signatures within the first 12 hours, according to a post on "X."