THE General Body responds to Chancellor Syverud’s “Final Offer”

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After two days of not communicating with us, Chancellor Syverud’s e-mail of a “final offer” (see below), copied to the entire university community, is counterproductive to the negotiation process. The administration has made real promises, but too many responses are vague and direct us to preexisting processes that are not transparent and disinclude student voices.

THE General Body is unsatisfied with this offer and continues to demand the administration recognize our outcry against the rapid and undemocratic revision of university goals and missions. We reiterate our insistence that undermining the demographics of our student body, the mental and sexual health of our students, the accessibility and safety of our campus, and the relationship of Syracuse with its community are not appropriate or democratic ways to balance our budget.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow at 3pm in Crouse-Hinds. A longer press release with more details of our response is forthcoming.

In solidarity,

THE General Body

To read Chancellor Syverud’s e-mail in full, 

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The past ten days have demonstrated much about the importance of listening to our students and responding to their concerns.

On November 3, students organized as THE General Body rallied on the steps of Hendricks Chapel before marching to Crouse-Hinds Hall. Like our students have done throughout the ages, they carried signs, chanted and encouraged passersby to join their cause. I cannot say enough how much I admire and respect the students’ commitment to this University.

The students demanded action and I believe we have responded.

University College Dean Bea González, my executive team, and I have given this effort our full attention. We have thoughtfully reviewed and responded to multiple demands and documents, offered a wide range of very substantive actions that will be implemented right away, and have committed to a process for future action. The experience has been a learning one for all of us.

To make significant change, though, we need to move forward. Tonight we responded with our final written response and have informed THE General Body that our time must now be spent addressing the needs of the entire student body. To do this best, I believe we and THE General Body should work collaboratively with the duly elected representatives and governing bodies that are currently in place, including the Student Association and the Graduate Student Organization, to bring continued action and resolution to these concerns. I look forward to being an active participant in this process.

Finally, on behalf of Syracuse University, I apologize to those who have experienced stress and anguish owing to the process and communications regarding decisions made on issues important to members of our community. In particular, I apologize that decisions about the Advocacy Center, as well as the Posse Program, have caused this to occur. I have sincerely tried to engage and seek opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to provide their thoughts and opinions on these important issues. However, I recognize some in our community have felt left out, and I regret that.

We will do better.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Kent Syverud

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