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#NotAgainSU: Students Occupy Administrative Building, Threatened And Denied Food

Above photo: From Twitter.

Syracuse, NY – Students with #NotAgainSU, who have been protesting racism and hate incidents on campus that are not being punished, are currently occupying the admissions building, Crouse-Hinds Hall. Their action began yesterday. Last night when the university ordered them to leave at closing time and move their action to the library, which is open twenty-four hours a day, the students refused.

Today, the students remain in Crouse-Hinds Hall, but rather than listening to their concerns, the university is limiting access to the building to employees only and preventing anyone from bringing food inside. The students say they are hungry. They haven’t eaten since Monday afternoon. They also report that the building is cold and that police are acting violently.

The thirty-one students are also worried because Monday night the university suspended them even though it said in an email that they would not be suspended.

As they are no longer considered to be students at Syracuse University, they no longer have the rights of students. They are worried that the university police will enter and arrest them for their peaceful protest.

The students issued a statement this morning that is a rebuttal to what Syracuse University is saying about the action.

The student newspaper reports:

“The Black student-led movement began occupying the building at noon to continue its months-long protest of hate crimes and racist incidents at Syracuse University. Crouse-Hinds Hall houses the offices of Chancellor Kent Syverud and other SU administrators.

Syverud signed 16 of the movement’s 19 demands in November and revised the remaining three. The movement issued six new demands on Monday, released five addendums to existing demands and retracted one.”

The paper describes the changes to the student demands:

“Retracted demand

#NotAgainSU canceled its demand for SU to publicly share the diversity training status of tenured SU professors. Syverud had revised the demand to permit the sharing of that information to the extent permitted under the law. Organizers scrapped it entirely as of Monday.

New demands

#NotAgainSU’s 19th demand calls for SU to acknowledge hate crimes committed on campus as indicators of larger institutional violence. Organizers also call on SU to recognize in a public statement to the campus community its complicity in perpetuating white supremacy, an organizer said.

The movement’s 20th demand is for the immediate resignation or planned removal of Syverud, Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado, DPS Associate Chief John Sardino and Senior Vice President for Enrollment and the Student Experience Dolan Evanovich.

#NotAgainSU demands their resignations by Friday. Organizers initially demanded the four officials resign by Jan. 13. After the officials did not resign by the initial deadline, #NotAgainSU plans pressure SU’s Board of Trustees to enforce the resignations, an organizer said.

Demand No. 21 urges SU to freeze its tuition at $52,210. The figure is currently the reported 2019-2020 tuition cost for students enrolled after fall 2018. Further increases should be due only to inflation adjustments, an organizer said.

The movement’s 22nd demand calls for the identities of perpetrators of any bias-related incidents since fall 2019 to be shared with the campus community. At least 26 racist or bias-related incidents have been reported on or near campus since Nov. 7.

“Bias-related incidents are forms of violence and must be recognized as such by the university,” an organizer said.

#NotAgainSU’s 23rd demand is for DPS officers to stop carrying firearms. Public safety officers carry firearms when on duty, according to DPS’ website. Instead of DPS officers carrying firearms, the Syracuse Police Department should be contacted if firearms are necessary, the movement said.

SU housing services should give priority preference to students with disabilities when selecting campus housing, the movement cites as its 24th demand. Students with disabilities should be able to rank their preferences for room type and residence halls, the demand reads.


#NotAgainSU also introduced five addendums, providing additional information to the movement’s original demands.

The first addendum relates to the movement’s 2nd and 12th demands, which respectively call for reforming SEM 100 and allocating at least $1 million to create a diversity-focused curriculum, according to the revised list of demands.

If the university is truly dedicated to reforming SEM 100, these two demands should be implemented by the start of the fall 2020 semester, the movement said.

Two revisions concern the movement’s 6th demand, which calls for the establishment of a housing portal to allow students to select roommates based on shared identities and interests.

Organizers said they were aware the university plans to implement My College Roomie, an online roommate selection portal, and establish a Multicultural Living and Learning Community for upperclassmen in the upcoming academic year.

The program has a survey feature that allows users to answer questions about their living habits and lifestyle. The movement is calling on SU to seek feedback from marginalized students about the survey questions provided, according to the addendum.

The movement also said it demanded multiple multicultural learning communities in every residence hall to accommodate housing needs, according to the addendum. The movement’s initial list of demands called for the expansion of multicultural learning communities “to more residence halls on campus.”

An application or essay should not be a part of the process to live in a multicultural learning community, #NotAgainSU said in the third clarification. The option to live in any learning community should be easily accessible on online housing portals, it said.

In response to #NotAgainSU’s 8th demand, the university said it opened four new counselor positions, according to SU’s website. Though the university hired four new counselors the movement demands the ratio be lower, #NotAgainSU said as its fourth clarification.

Agreeing to the demand under the university’s vision is not agreeing to the demand set forth by student organizers, the movement said.

#NotAgainSU said DPS created its Bias Incident Reports webpage in response to demands No. 13 and 15. Organizers had specifically asked the university create a website tracking all updates made in response to demands from student protesters as well as indigenous and Jewish students, it said.

DPS disregarded demand No. 15 as several bias-related incidents have not been uploaded to the bias incident page within the demanded 48-hour window, the movement said.

The department has said it would not upload incidents to the page within the 48-hour window if doing so would compromise the integrity of the investigation, according to the original signed agreement.

A university spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment regarding the revised demands as of 2 a.m. Tuesday.”

This story is ongoing. You can follow on Twitter at @notagain_su and the hashtag #NotAgainSU.

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