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VICTORIES at the New School!

Letters of support have been pouring in, most recently one from Todd May of Clemson, and one from student activists at Antioch.

Last night, the occupying students (the Occupation Assembly) listed a set of demands (apart from the larger long-running demands) that they insisted be agreed upon by the administration that night:

  1. Amnesty for all participants in this student movement, including Elliot Liu. Staff and security guards affected by this protest shall receive appropriate compensation and no repercussions for dutiful fulfillment of their jobs;
  2. That students may use the GF building at 65 Fifth Avenue until a suitable replacement is secured, that all capital improvements at the university shall be suspended and these funds shall be redirected toward (a) an autonomous student space where we can study and engage in group work, (b) scholarships and tuition, (c) a respectable library, that students will be included in the decision-making process in order to establish a viable plan for a student space;
  3. That all investments and finances shall be fully disclosed so as to permit complete transparency and intelligibility of the creation of a Socially Responsible Investment committee;
  4. That an equitable and authoritative tripartite committee including faculty, staff, and students to select an interim provost as well as a permanent replacement for provost, and a new president and vice president, for which there will be no presidential veto for this committee's decision;
  5. That there be regularly appointed a student as voting member on board of trustees; and
  6. That President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President Jim Murtha, and Treasurer Robert Millard be removed from their present positions at the University.
We ask that these demands are binding, and that they be met in writing, on New School University letterhead, signed by President Kerrey or members of the Board of Trustees, BEFORE we leave this building, and that they be presented to students in the second week of spring semester.
We demand further that:
  1. Demands 1 and 2 be approved immediately in writing;
  2. Demand 3 be enacted in a succinct and clear presentation at a school-wide student assembly during the second week of the spring semester - and that the student body be notified of this next week;
  3. Demand 4 be initiated by next week, and that we be notified of this in writing;
  4. Demand 5 be finalized at the next board meeting; and
  5. Demand 6 be met by the beginning of next school year.

 

The gambit worked -- Bob Kerrey signed off on most of the demands! You can check the letter he signed below:

Bob Kerrey letter to New School occupying students page 1
Bob Kerrey letter to New School occupying students page 2

With chants of "WE ARE WINNING / IT'S NOT OVER," roughly a hundred occupying students left the cafeteria around 3:30 AM, spilling out onto 5th Avenue into the arms of more supportive students and demonstrators who had gathered. The semester has ended on a high note - the real task ahead is maintaining and building upon the momentum they fought so hard for over this past week. Get some rest, New School students. You've more than earned it.