NYU Occupation Is Over | takebacknyu.com
Read More Below
February 20 – 2:41PM
The occupation of NYU is now over. The administration has continued its tradition of not being transparent and engaging in a dialogue with student issues and demands. Below are updates from TakeBackNYU:
“Near the end of the occupation NYU put some of its dishonesty on wide display. 5 students occupying the building were told they would be offered negotiations with Lynne Brown, and willingly passed their barricades to begin serious talks. As soon as they left, a cadre of NYU security guards swept them away and served them with papers saying they would be expelled. No negotiations ever took place. To the end, NYU showed just why we need more actions like this occupation: to hold NYU to its word, and to put students first.
NYU is taking immediate steps against protesters, at risk of its public image and the wellbeing of its students. Right now, several protesters in university housing are being evicted from their residences. This is not OK. Dissent should never make someone homeless. Please contact NYU Housing to insist they allow students to stay in their dorm:
A prominent head of a Department here at NYU has issued a statement of solidarity with the students involved in the occupation of the Kimmel Center, and much of the faculty in that dept. have taken a stand to support these students as the occupation commences”
February 20 – 3:00AM
TakeBackNYU issued this update at 3AM:
We are writing to you from inside NYU. There are still hundreds of dancing masses swelling at the exterior of the building. Morale is high. We are sticking this out.
The administration’s negotiation consisted of repeating the same ultimatum over and over. They proposed probation (not amnesty in the slightest) for all students involved in the occupation, a disbanding of the occupation and the ability to meet with only two administrators in order to meet to discuss the demands. So… basically they offered to blacklist us, end the occupation and we get 5 minutes in a room with Lynne Brown (Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs) and Linda Mills (Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and University Life). This is not negotiation, this is mandate with no room for bargaining.
The crowd’s energy is high. They overtook the streets several hours ago, and are maintaining their position along West 4th St. They are shouting, dancing and having a good time. At a certain point in time, the crowd began to push against police barricades in front of the Kimmel entrance. There was one confirmed arrest, who was told informally that he was charged with assaulting an officer. These claims are not fully confirmed.
We’re all busy blogging, napping noshing and chanting to the crowds. We appreciate your support, and are open to negotiation at all times. Contact your professors, contact administrators, contact your parents. All we ask is a seat at the negotiations table. We don’t need to bargain to negotiate. We don’t need to plead to talk. We will be heard.
This is for the students who work three jobs to attend the school of their dreams. This is for the students in Gaza, whose university is destroyed and can no longer study. This is for workers in Abu Dhabi building our facilities with no human rights to speak of. We are a global university and our actions are connected to world events, whether we like it or not. It is our responsibility. We have voices. Let’s use them.
February 20 – As of 2:30AM
The TakeBackNYU site has issued these important updates:
- “negotiations are ongoing. at least 5-6 hundred of supporters have taken over the entire street in front of nyu, and the rude mechanical orchestra’s still playing.
- at the same time, nyu is threatening expulsion (for nyu students) and arrest (for both nyu and non-nyu students) who do not leave before 1 am.
- The police pepper-sprayed the crowd earlier and a few supporters in the street were injured. There are still between 400-500 people out there and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere. We, the students of the occupation, remain firmly against non-violent action and we hope the crowd stands in non-violent solidarity with us. Negotiations are ongoing and we thank you all for your support!!”
February 19 – As of 4PM
Students participating in Take Back NYU!’s occupation of NYU’s Kimmel center called for NYU’s Administration to finally offer acceptable conditions for face-to-face negotiations with the occupation. NYU refuses to look students in the eye about its policies towards the occupation and its demands.
Throughout the occupation Take Back NYU! made it clear that good-faith negotiations are a condition to the occupation’s end. NYU has only made one empty offer of faux negotiations after the end of the occupation.
Members of Take Back NYU! called a press conference for 5pm ET outside the Kimmel Center to demand NYU enter negotiations. The policy of stonewalling students continues NYU’s legacy of inaction and obstinacy regarding student democracy and human rights at NYU – the occupation offers the administration a chance to improve its public image and stance on these key issues.
During the press conference, students will propose expansion of pressure on the university to encourage the administration to come to the table over Take Back NYU! demands regarding student democracy and human rights at NYU.
The occupation, which began at 10pm on Feb. 18th with the seizure of the 3rd floor of the Kimmel Center has made news across the country and received declarations of support from universities across the world. NYU’s Administration refuses to allow the students of the occupation a place at negotiations, instead relying on threats and intransigence to try to end Take Back NYU!’s campaign.
WHAT: Take Back NYU! Occupation Press Conference to Demand Negotiations
WHEN: 5pm, Feburary 19, 2009
WHERE: Outside the occupied Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South.
CONTACT: Farah Khimji, firstname.lastname@example.org, 214-277-3879
Emily Stainkamp, email@example.com, 336-207-8318
We, the students of Take Back NYU! declare our solidarity with the student occupations in Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as those of the University of Rochester, the New School for Social Research, and with future occupations to come in the name of democracy and student power. We stand in solidarity with the University of Gaza, and with the people of Palestine.
We, the students of NYU, declare an occupation of this space. This occupation is the culmination of a two-year campaign by the Take Back NYU! coalition, and of campaigns from years past, in whose footsteps we follow.
In order to create a more accountable, democratic and socially responsible university, we demand the following:
- Full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation.
- Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.
- Public release of NYU’s annual operating budget, including a full list of university expenditures, salaries for all employees compensated on a semester or annual basis, funds allocated for staff wages, contracts to non-university organizations for university construction and services, financial aid data for each college, and money allocated to each college, department, and administrative unit of the university. Furthermore, this should include a full disclosure of the amount and sources of the university’s funding.
- Disclosure of NYU’s endowment holdings, investment strategy, projected endowment growth, and persons, corporations and firms involved in the investment of the university’s endowment funds. Additionally, we demand an endowment oversight body of students, faculty and staff who exercise shareholder proxy voting power for the university’s investments.
- That the NYU Administration agrees to resume negotiations with GSOC/UAW Local 2110 – the union for NYU graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and research assistants. That NYU publicly affirm its commitment to respect all its workers, including student employees, by recognizing their right to form unions and to bargain collectively. That NYU publicly affirm that it will recognize workers’ unions through majority card verification.
- That NYU signs a contract guaranteeing fair labor practices for all NYU employees at home and abroad. This contract will extend to subcontracted workers, including bus drivers, food service employees and anyone involved in the construction, operation and maintenance at any of NYU’s non-U.S. sites.
- The establishment of a student elected Socially Responsible Finance Committee. This Committee will have full power to vote on proxies, draft shareholder resolutions, screen all university investments, establish new programs that encourage social and environmental responsibility and override all financial decisions the committee deems socially irresponsible, including investment decisions. The committee will be composed of two subcommittees: one to assess the operating budget and one to assess the endowment holdings. Each committee will be composed of ten students democratically elected from the graduate and under-graduate student bodies. All committee decisions will be made a strict majority vote, and will be upheld by the university. All members of the Socially Responsible Finance Committee will sit on the board of trustees, and will have equal voting rights. All Socially Responsible Finance Committee and Trustee meetings shall be open to the public, and their minutes made accessible electronically through NYU’s website. Elections will be held the second Tuesday of every March beginning March 10th 2009, and meetings will be held biweekly beginning the week of March 30th 2009.
- That the first two orders of business of the Socially Responsible Finance committee will be: a) An in depth investigation of all investments in war and genocide profiteers, as well as companies profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territories. b) A reassessment of the recently lifted of the ban on Coca Cola products.
- That annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students, starting with the 2009/2010 academic year. These scholarships will include funding for books, housing, meals and travel expenses.
- That the university donate all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.
- Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. All students will pay their initial tuition rate throughout the course of their education at New York University. Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation, nor shall they exceed one percent. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.
- That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.
- That the general public have access to Bobst Library.