Sit-in at university to protest racism enters third day
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 2/21/2020, midnight
Student activists who took over a Syracuse University administration building this week to protest racist incidents on campus rejected a request from officials to end their sit-in, the school said in a statement Wednesday, reports NBC News. The self-described black-led movement - #NotAgainsySU – launched the sit-in at Crouse-Hinds Hall with about 30 students early Monday afternoon to protest the administration’s response to a spate of racist incidents on campus dating back to 2019. After students ignored a warning to leave the building before it closed Monday night, the university issued interim suspensions to all of the protesters who remained. In Wednesday's statement, Rob Hradsky, the vice president for student experiences, said the university had spoken with the student demonstrators Tuesday and made several offers to “find common ground.” Among them: Revoking the interim suspension of any student who voluntarily left the building by 10 p.m. Tuesday; Reiterating its support of peaceful protests at Crouse-Hinds Hall during business hours.” Relocating overnight protests to a 24-hour campus library “staffed to handle the influx of students;” Scheduling a meeting Thursday to address the group’s new and existing concerns. “After deliberation, students rejected all of these options,” a statement said. The university’s Department of Public Safety sealed off Crouse-Hinds Hall and has prohibited food and other resources, such as medicine and hygiene products for the unbathed protesters, from entering since Tuesday morning, two student organizers said in an interview Wednesday. Both students requested anonymity out of fear of retribution from the university. The students, a 21-year-old senior and an 18-year-old freshman, said they were among those suspended Tuesday morning for remaining in the building past the 9 p.m. closing time. The student organizers said their demands, which include a meeting with the executive board of the board of trustees, have not been met. “The administration has not appropriately addressed the 25+ hate crimes that have occurred on campus since November 2019, and they have not addressed student protestors in any way that is reflective of a commitment to equal safety and support,” the protesters said in a statement this week.