Education

Syracuse Students Occupy University Admin Building

By Zachary Tornabene SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The protests began a week ago when a group of students gathered outside of Hendricks Chapel to speak about some of the recent activity of the administration at Syracuse University.

From there, the students moved several hundred feet to Crouse-Hinds Hall where they set up camp for what now has been over a week. The group, known as THE General Body, has demanded immediate action and has vowed not to leave the building until steps are taken. The building has a maximum capacity of 80 people on the main floor, and at times, that number was pushed to the limit.

According to the group’s Facebook page, “THE General Body is a united front of student organizations at Syracuse University. Our goals are to educate and inform other students and the administration about the grievances and problems that students of various socio-economic class, disability, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and race experience on a day-to-day basis.”

While the group has been widely supported by some faculty and students, there are others who feel the group has taken their demands to far, and that the group is no longer representing the majority of the people.

One student who wished not to be named quoted Voltaire saying “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death you’re right to say it.”

Some of the groups organizers, however, feel that it’s not a question of the majority and the minority.

“If we only address issues that majority groups face, we’d still be in segregated schools, women still wouldn’t be allowed to vote,” said Laura Cohen, one of the groups organizers. “We have to think about the minority and think about how we can level the playing field so there is no majority of minority.”

The group had the opportunity to speak with the Chancellor of the University, Kent Syverud, and said that the meeting went well. One of the leaders of the movement, Colton Jones, believes that University has no choice but to listen.

“The University has conceded to a lot of what we have asked,” said Colton Jones. “They’re pretty receptive of what we are doing and what we are saying. I feel like we have a lot of students behind us, a lot of faculty and staff behind us, so obviously the things that we are saying and doing are important to some level.

A student hangs up signs inside Crouse-Hinds Hall as the students sat-in their 7th day of the protest. (c) Zachary Tornabene

A student hangs up signs inside Crouse-Hinds Hall as the students sat-in their 7th day of the protest. (c) Zachary Tornabene