Syracuse University students vow to continue week-long sit-in

Nov 7, 2014

Upset with what they say is a lack of transparency from university officials, Syracuse University students are vowing to continue a sit-in at the school's administrative building that's been underway since Monday afternoon.

Monday was when a boisterous group of students renewed protests over a closure of a sexual assault victim resource center, reduction in minority scholarships and proposed changes to the university's mission statement. 

"They're no longer interested in engaging with the full community," said co-organizer Becca Glaser, a graduate student, Friday morning, as the university's board of trustees was meeting upstairs.

"It's very severe, these changes," she said.

Since the mid-September rally over the sexual assault advocacy center, Glaser and other students have formed The General Body and produced a 43-page list of demands.

Early Friday, about a dozen students renewed their publicity with a small outdoor rally in the drizzling rain and cold before returning inside.

Chancellor Kent Syverud and Dean Bea Gonzalez had a lengthy meeting with about 80 students Wednesday. Gonzalez and other administrators came back with responses to some of the students complaints, which she outlined in a letter to the campus community Thursday.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud. (file photo)
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gonzalez called the lack of agreement so far between the two sides dissapointing.

The board of trustees would delay the vote on the new mission statement, she wrote, and for the school to expedite its search for a new coordinator for its Americans with Disabilities Act services. She said they would also be willing to continue the dialog, especially around services for sexually assaulted students.

But it all comes under a condition: the students must end their sit-in.

The General Body has no intention of doing that, Glaser said, even if it means getting locked in the building all weekend.

"As we know historically, the only power we have is the sit-in, is the visibility," she said. "If we end that, we have no actual negotiating power."