Dear Chancellor Syverud,
I am writing with serious disappointment that the students protesting with THE General Body have been denied legal counsel. Given that the administration has publicly indicated they intend to take disciplinary action, the students require advice from legal professionals. Just because Syracuse is a private University does not mean it can deny the students their basic civil rights.
I also find it extremely disingenuous that you publicly laud the students actions and now appear to be subjecting them to disciplinary action. You said in your recent University-wide email, “The past ten days have demonstrated much about the importance of listening to our students and responding to their concerns…I cannot say enough how much I admire and respect the students’ commitment to this University. ” If you believe in the importance of these students expressing their concerns then they must be allowed to protest and sit without fear of retaliation or reprisal from the Administration. The delivery of name-identified legal envelopes to students in the sit in is an obvious and distasteful scare tactic.
It is time for your congenial rhetoric to match your actions. Please do whatever it takes to ensure that these students are given legal counsel and their basic civil rights.
Department of Geography
144 Eggers Hall
The Maxwell School