Dear Chancellor Syverud,
I write to you this morning to ask that you and your administrative liaisons rethink the decision to not allow the students to seek legal counsel this weekend and to frame their actions as violations to the codes for student conduct. In conversations that I have been a part of regarding re-visioning the mission and ambition for our university, one thing that remains constant is a desire to attract THE best students who are not only academically strong but critically and socially aware and engaged. In my mind and without question, THE General Body reflects that vision. In fact, these students are actively here now and they represent the kind of university culture that I believe we should aspire to and maintain for the present and future students to come. In fact, through their collective actions, they are cultivating the kind of diversity and unity that is articulated in the concept of “one university”.
I have never been more proud to be a faculty member who has the opportunity to engage with students who embody and realize through their actions such commitments to diversity and inclusion. However, I have been disappointed in the administration’s recent decisions to cease conversations with the students about their demands and to further criminalize what I have witnessed to be a peaceful and purposeful protest. In truth, I am horrified at the lengths that our students felt they needed to go to in order to have transparency. They have done nothing wrong but ask to be heard and to have straightforward answers.
As a faculty member committed to moving Syracuse University forward, I ask that we not take steps backwards by denying our students respect and basic rights.
Dean’s Associate Professor
Reading and Language Arts
School of Education