Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson will lay off staff and faculty positions due to enrollment decline partly caused by campus protests, college says

Montse Landeros Cabrera

Emerson College will lay off faculty and staff and not fill some vacant positions in response to reduced enrollment, which it said was partly caused by “negative press and social media” from pro-Palestine demonstrations, according to an email President Jay Bernhardt sent to faculty and staff Tuesday. 

Bernhardt wrote that the enrollment decline is anticipated to last for one year, but will impact its budget for the next several fiscal years. 

“We attribute this reduction to multiple factors, including national enrollment trends away from smaller private institutions, an enrollment deposit delay in response to the new FAFSA rollout, student protests targeting our yield events and campus tours, and negative press and social media generated from the demonstrations and arrests,” Bernhardt wrote.

The exact size of the incoming first-year class as well as the number of expected layoffs and the departments that will be impacted were not provided to The Beacon. The numbers have yet to be determined, said college spokesperson Michelle Gaseau. 

The college recently announced a new Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dr. Matthew Boyce, who is slated to begin on July 15. Bernhardt said he has confidence that the enrollment team can “address these enrollment-related challenges quickly.” 

Several faculty and staff members said they did not anticipate the announcement. 

It’s “a shocking way to respond to the community asking for more transparency and more shared governance,” said Anna Feder, a member of Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine.

Additionally, fall housing applications have been extended and will remain open throughout the summer. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with no waitlist.

Gaseau did not provide the number of available dorms to The Beacon.

The announcement comes after pro-Palestine demonstrations that occurred through the past academic year, including the “Popular University encampment” that resulted in the Boston Police Department arresting 118 protesters.

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About the Contributors
Hannah Nguyen
Hannah Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Nguyen (she/her) is a senior journalism major from North Wales, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in publications like The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, North Penn Now, Cambridge Day and AsAmNews. Outside of reporting, she enjoys thrifting and painting her nails. (see: https://linktr.ee/hannahcnguyen)
Iselin Bratz
Iselin Bratz, Kasteel Well Bureau Co-Chief
DJ Mara
DJ Mara, Kasteel Well Bureau Co-Chief

Comments (8)

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  • B

    Bob / Jul 4, 2024 at 2:13 am

    Dump comedic arts

  • A

    Adam in LA / Jun 25, 2024 at 10:25 pm

    Emerson hasn’t found an answer to offering people expensive degrees, and the writers’/actors’ strike reminded incoming students that there are less volatile fields to go into. If it wasn’t Gaza, it would be some other excuse.
    With college being more expensive than ever, Emerson is just another school that can’t deal with the contradictions of teaching people how to communicate, but getting mad when they say something the school doesn’t like.

    Go into any of the Facebook alumni spaces, you’ll see a long line of people who felt disenfranchised by the university, one that couldn’t even make a statement to support the WGA. I don’t want throw around the word “moribund” but the school better hire someone to give 18-year-olds and their parents what they want out of a college education, ASAP.

  • A

    anonymous / Jun 25, 2024 at 5:01 am

    yeah…remind me how protesting admitted students on tours is freeing Palestine. I’ll wait while these ignorant and useful idiots contemplate their investment in the newest Instagram trend and how it’s impacting people with real jobs. pathetic

    • A

      Adam in LA / Jun 25, 2024 at 10:19 pm

      We’re doing boomer bingo, eh anonymous?

    • A

      anonymous / Jun 26, 2024 at 8:31 pm

      I pity anyone who thinks that fighting for Palestinian rights is the “newest Instagram trend”.

      • A

        Anonymous / Jul 3, 2024 at 10:35 am

        Oh chaver sheli please pity me! First it was Black Lives Matter and now it’s “all eyes on Rafah”. Your favorite virtue signaling influencers posted the AI infographic and then a go fund me for Hamas for 2 days during the height of this trend and then went back to posting their avocado toast and brand deals. If you can’t see the hypocrisy then I’m now pitying you

  • L

    Liz Morningstar / Jun 24, 2024 at 6:20 am

    A well-deserved outcome and should serve as an example to other organizations that America is fed up with the disruptive tykes. They have lost any support from the normies. Emerson College administration backed the wrong horse. Classic FAFO moment.

    • M

      Mark Stewart / Jun 25, 2024 at 10:11 pm

      Precisely. But be careful with the truth, or you may be called “unhinged” on these boards. Washington University in STL expelled the troublemakers and suspended the abetting faculty. Here. . . Bail was thrown, dorms were offered for the summer for court appearances, and zero consequences for the actions. You are supposed to be a bit stupid when you are in college, God knows we were in the mid 70’s, but we were never this dumb.