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THE General Body Requests a Meeting with Chancellor Syverud

Yesterday, March 31, THE General Body contacted Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud to request he and other decision-making administrators meet in a public, open manner, with THE General Body, to continue the dialog and work the administration has stated it wants to work on. We have yet to hear a reply. Here is the letter:
THE General Body Requests a Meeting with Chancellor Syverud, April 7, 7pm

Dear Chancellor Syverud,

THE General Body, an organization comprised of students, faculty and staff, has had no direct communication with you since the sit-in ended in November. On November 20, 2014, the day the sit-in ended, you delivered a statement saying, “I want the University community to know I remain fully committed to continuing these conversations and working to make Syracuse University the kind of campus where everyone feels welcome and respected.” While your administration has met separately with the group Divest-SU/ESF, and while you have stated your intention to continue these conversations, you have not reached out to THE General Body, the group who researched, articulated, and presented to you numerous interconnected crucial concerns and solutions.

These concerns are each so critical that you stated during your sole negotiation meeting with THE General Body, “’they’re all important” and choosing among them “feels like asking somebody to choose between their children.” Furthermore, the endorsement and support of many of THE General Body’s core grievances and solutions by the University Senate, Graduate Student Organization, and Student Association illustrate that these are not only reasonable and necessary but that they have broad support within our campus community.

As a demonstration of your expressed desire to work with students and resolve these important issues, we request that you and your executive team meet with student representatives from THE General Body at an open and public meeting on April 7 from 7-9 pm in a location like Hendricks Chapel, Gifford or Shemin Auditorium in order to address the items your administration has agreed to do, to see your progress, and to work on agreements on the crucial items which your final response did not address, including commitments to support current and future students of color and the need for additional mental health service providers.

In your response to the GSO Resolution Regarding University Interactions with THE General Body, you stated: “As we move on in the spring semester I look forward to continued dialog with all interested students on issues that impact our campus community and the world in which we live… Although our work in addressing the grievances and demands of the protestors is unfinished, I do believe we will find common ground and expect the University will be a better place for it.” And while the recent Q&A with Dean Bea González notes that administration has been in conversation with THE General Body, there has been no communication with THE General Body itself on critical, unresolved issues after the sit-in. Among other items, we want to make sure that crucial student needs and grievances will play a central role in the university’s new Fast Forward plan. Having attended forums, been on Fast Forward committees, and reviewed the plan thus far, students, faculty and staff are deeply concerned that the administration is not prioritizing diversity, safety, community engagement and transparency. We see a university moving toward more corporate training and funding and away from education that addresses society’s most pressing issues.

Many of the issues which led us to take action have yet to be resolved. Unfortunately, even more issues have arisen since the sit-in during the fall. To us, this demonstrates that the administration is continuing to make decisions that negatively affect the SU community:

  • The recently-proposed $495 million sports stadium, alongside claims that the university does not have the money to hire additional counselors or to continue its original commitment to scholarship programs like POSSE. Meanwhile, SU administration has not provided a public budget proposal for a center which will properly address sexual assault prevention and survivor support.

  • Reports of four SU Law students drugged by a fellow law student(s), an issue that has not yet been publicly addressed by your administration.

  • The new health insurance mandate, which affects all undergraduate and graduate students, and will disproportionately affect low-income students, and graduate TA/RA/GAs appear to be getting a far worse deal than they currently have.

  • The inconsistencies regarding cancellation of SU Study Abroad programs, in particular, the cancellation of, and scholarships for, Paris Noir.

  • The lack of transparency around the SU Mission/Vision Statement.

These are but a few of the campus community’s concerns about the university’s priorities. These incidents indicate the need for continued work towards creating a transparent, inclusive, and democratic campus community.

We are eager to hear where you’ve made progress on meeting the needs of the student population and campus, and to move forward on the needs that your administration did not adequately address in previous communication. We’d like to continue creating the kind of university where all students, faculty, staff and community members are valued and respected.

Please let us know as soon as possible whether you can make this meeting. If April 7 is not an option, we look forward to scheduling another meeting time in the near future, ideally during evening hours when more students can attend.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

THE General Body

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Update from the GSO’s Request for Investigation About Administrative Actions Toward TGB

On March 26th, 2015, Patrick Neary, the GSO president, sent this letter to the Chancellor regarding his inadequate response to the GSO’s official request for an investigation about administrative actions toward THE General Body:

On February 18, 2015 your response to GSO Senate Resolution 15.13, calling for an investigation of administrative actions toward the General Body, was put before the GSO Senate for discussion. The GSO Senate would like to thank you for your response to this resolution, which was both extensive and thoughtful. We appreciate the time you have taken to respond to our concerns, and understand your letter as a token of your commitment to cooperating with the democratic institutions of our university.

With that understanding in place, there was some debate among the GSO Senate regarding your response. Extensive as your letter is, there are a few lingering concerns that the senate would like to bring to your attention. In general, we had hoped to see more insight from students who were involved in the sit in. Our expectation was that your investigation might have sought out their testimony and incorporated it into your findings more clearly. Moreover, we note that you have asserted that DPS and your administrative team were acting in the interest of student safety. While student safety is indeed an important goal, it is not clear that it is an end that justifies the means. This is especially true when some of the means, like photographing sleeping protestors, undermine the rights and dignity of our students, making them worry for their own privacy and safety at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. Finally, there have been troubling reports of students being likened to violent criminals in administrative training. If this is true, it would have troubling implications regarding our university’s commitment to free speech, a value which is foundational to shared democratic governance and academic freedom.

Informed by this debate, the GSO Senators unanimously resolved to draft this letter to you, respectfully requesting that you take further action. In our original resolution, we asked that you arrange an open forum where the university community can discuss the concerns outlined in the resolution with you. We ask that you please move forward with this open forum, selecting a time in coordination with the GSO. We also ask that you reopen your investigation into your administrative team’s response to the student protests. We ask that this investigation be conducted by a team that includes volunteer representatives of the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty bodies in addition to representatives from the administration to ensure a balanced approach. This team should provide a written report addressing concerns about the conduct of the administration and DPS in the handling of the protest.

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Share Your Mental Health Experience

The Daily Orange is looking to cover stories on mental health and mental health services on campus and we need your help! If anyone would like to share their experiences, email syractiveminds@gmail.com. Your experience can remain anonymous if you’d like. Remember that your story is the best weapon you have against the stigma and disparity in mental health services on campus! This is our chance to get the administration to listen. Feel free to reach out to Active Minds at Syracuse University with any questions.

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Next Meeting of THE General Body

THE General Body would like to thank everyone for attending the Teach in to Act Out event this past weekend, and a special thank you to our incredible speakers, performers, and moderators! We felt very encouraged by the dialogue that took place and feel more prepared than ever to move into phase two of THE General Body.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 5 at 8:30 p.m. in Hall of Languages room 202. All are welcome, both TGB members old and new, or anyone just interested in learning more.

We hope to see you there! Contact THEgeneralbody@gmail.com with any questions.

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Teach in to Act Out!

Friday, January 30 – Saturday, January 31
Community Folk Art Center
805 E Genesee St, Syracuse, New York 13210

CFAC is walking distance from campus, but you can also take the Connective Corridor Route 443 to the Syracuse Stage bus stop. See schedule here.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Join the Facebook event after you register
& tweet and follow along with #TGBteachin

Click here for more detailed information after you register!

THE General Body, a coalition of student organizations, faculty and staff at Syracuse University, is hosting a two-day event that will include panels, workshops, discussions, film screenings, and keynote speakers on the history of student movements, intersectional organizing, university corporatization, resistance skill-building, and art & activism.

Speakers include Margo Okazawa-Rey, Minnie Bruce Pratt, DarkMatter, and many more! (SEE FULL SCHEDULE BELOW)

  • Event is free and open.
  • The space is wheelchair accessible.
  • ASL Interpretive Services will be provided for Margo Okazawa-Rey’s Keynote (Friday, 6:15 to 7 pm), as well as DarkMatter’s performance (Saturday, 4:30 to 5:30 pm).
  • Contact THEgeneralbody@gmail.com with any questions.

Many thanks to our co-sponsors:
Democratizing Knowledge Project, Community Folk Art Center, Women’s and Gender Studies, Geography, Cold Case Justice Initiative, Labor Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Foundations of Education, English, History, Black Political Thought, LGBT Studies, Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Latino, Latin American Studies, African American Studies, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Asian Students in America, Imagining America, and Active Minds.

Press coverage:

FULL SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30

8-9:30 am: Registration and tea, coffee, and snacks

9:30-10:15 am: THE General Body Welcome & Overview

What We’ve Accomplished & What’s Left to Do

Presenters: Farrell Brenner, Colton Jones, Yanira Rodriguez

10:30am-12 pm: Student Activism Panel & Documentary Clips

Screening of historic documentary clips (curated by Kim Powell) and discussion with folks from historical and current movements.

Panelists: Agyei Tyehimba, Mali Golomb-Leavitt, Nick Holzthum, David L. Jackson

Moderators: Henry Nelson, Danielle Reed

12:15-1:15 pm: Lunch on your own

1:30-2:45 pm: The Corporate University

Panelists: Horace Campbell, Linda Carty, Matt Huber, Risa Lieberwitz, Yanira Rodriguez

Moderators: Jon Schmidt, Sherri Williams

3-4:30 pm: Intersectionality Discussion

Panelists: Lydia Brown, Koy Adams, Nikeeta Slade

Moderators: Keish Kim, Montinique McEachern

4:45-5:30 pm: Meditation with Dr. Marcelle Haddix

Dr. Marcelle Haddix will talk about the importance of breathing and meditation and take folks through visualization exercises and a writing exercise.

5:30 pm: Dinner from Sahota Palace (free!)

6:15 pm: Keynote Address & Discussion with Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey Keynote Speech: “In These Times: Creating a Beloved Community as a Radical Act”

Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey is a scholar in transnational anti-racist feminist praxis; armed conflicts, militarism and violence against women; theories and practices of social change.

Introduction to Keynote: Vani Kannan

Keynote address will have ASL interpreters.

7 pm: Black History Month Kickoff at Community Folk Art Center

Lydia Caeser and Brownskin Band, Brandyn Thomas

9-11:30pm: Informal conversation among activists

THE General Body wants to spend time talking across campuses and movements, sharing stories and tactics and inspiration. Regionally, we hope this discussion can be the seed for continued support between local campus movements.

We’ll start at 9PM (right after the CFAC Black History Month kick off) and go to around 11:30PM (we want to give time for people to rest before Saturday’s teach-in), although more quiet discussion could continue as long as folks want.

The Bread & Roses Collective is at 405 Westcott St. in Syracuse. There are five stairs into the house. If you have questions about accessibility, please speak with Ben Kuebrich.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 31

9:30-10:15 am: Radical Readout

Chen Chen, Sherri Williams, Mali Golomb-Leavitt, Kim Powell, Tatiana Cadet, Ernest Daily, Nikeeta Slade, and open mic

10:30 am-12 pm: Community Activism Roundtable

Panelists: Walt Dixie (National Action Network), Lilith Siegel,

Rebecca Fuentes (Workers’ Center of CNY), Mallory Livingston (Transgender Alliance), Cara Liebowitz Moderators: Nick Holtzhum, Ben Kuebrich

12:15-1:45 pm: Lunch

Take lunch as an opportunity to spend time with the folks you’ve met and foster relationships.

2-3 pm: Creative nonfiction workshop led by Minnie Bruce Pratt “And What If You Had to Speak from the Back of a Pickup Truck to 5000 People?”

We know that people love stories, that people learn from stories, that stories are a powerful tool used both by powers-over and by liberation struggles. In this workshop you’ll work with one or two of your stories and hone those for use in different organizing situations. Bring something to write in, on or with, and come ready to share with others. No limit on number of participants.

3:15-4:30 pm: DarkMatter workshop:  the revolution will not have a bibliography: student activism in the corporate university

DarkMatter is a trans south asian art and activist collaboration comprised of janani and alok. using poetry & polemic, tweet & tirade DM is committed to an art practice of gender self(ie) determination, racial justice, and movement building.

Join us for a workshop at the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that explores how the academic industrial-complex keeps us reading rather than revolting. We will discuss how the university generates apathy and inaction, and how we can use the university and its capital to our advantage to be in solidarity with social movements happening within and without. Social justice is not an extracurricular activity or registered student organization. This workshop is focused on practical steps around organizing and changemaking strategies.

4:30-5:30 pm: DarkMatter performance: #ItGetsBitter

#TBT back to when we were told as queer youth that it was supposed to “get better.” What they forgot to tell us is that gay rights are often only for gay whites! With an increase in racist and queerphobic violence and a state that uses our bodies to advance its imperialist agenda at home and abroad, what’s become apparent is that LGBT rights have become co-opted. JOIN DarkMatter for a night of poetry, polemic, and healing as we not only critique — but also imagine new queer futures. Show followed by Q&A.

Performance will include ASL interpreters.

5:45 pm: Closing remarks

Spread the word and share the flier below!

TBTI-TGB

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Letter of Support from SU in Florence Faculty

Dear Chancellor Syverud,

We write to add our voices to the majority of the Syracuse University Senate voting in favor of THE General Body’s efforts. The students’ engagement in trying to shape their university environment evinces the sort of civil engagement we, as faculty of Syracuse University’s Florence campus, teach. From the Gracchi through Dante, Machiavelli, and Gramsci, Italy provides countless examples of politically engaged thinkers who have risked their comfort, even their lives, to speak out. Two such Italians even made it to Syracuse, visualized in Ben Shawn’s mosaic on the east wall of Syracuse’s Huntington Beard Cruise Hall, “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.” The rich history of linking culture to politics made Florence the natural choice when professors from Syracuse’s Maxwell School established our center at the dawn of the cold war, with a vision of creating global citizens.

Citizenship anywhere calls for us to speak out, as students of THE General Body have been doing courageously. Their concerns parallel those our own Florence students have voiced in a recent round table regarding the Ferguson shooting. Our shared students, on either side of the Atlantic, perceive perhaps correctly that there is a “system” that could be more responsive to rights and concerns. Students’ insistence to discuss this constitutes a breaking of silence, a defiance of apathy, that constitutes the first step for their generation to initiate change—change that our generation has been unable, or perhaps too busy or afraid, fully to realize.

We feel it is important to remove, rather than build, barriers to students’ free movement and expression, to encourage rather than to threaten, so we may follow their lead in changing what they perceive as the “system,” rather than becoming that system ourselves. In doing so we will be supporting students who restore Syracuse’s academic reputation from the number one party school, to the number one school of engaged—and compassionate—leadership.

Sincerely,

Alessandra Adriani, Simone Anselmi, Francesca Bea, Molly Bourne, Jennifer Cook, Luisa Demuru, Matteo Duni, Charles Ewell, Carlotta Fonzi Kliemann, Antonella Francini, Francesco Guazzelli, Amy Kleine, Nick Kraczyna, Richard Ingersoll,  Elena Lucchetti, Sara Matthews-Grieco, Alick McLean, Eric Nicholson, Natalia Piombino, Isabella Pistolozzi, Ken Resnick, Todd Rutherford, Debora Spini, Kirsten Stromberg, Stefania Talini, Loredana Tarini, Jane Zaloga

Syracuse University in Florence
Piazza Savonarola 15
50132 Florence ITALY

Published on the D.O. [http://dailyorange.com/2014/12/su-in-florence-faculty-supports-student-engagement/]

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Faculty Propose University Senate Resolution to Amend New Mission & Vision Statements in an Open Letter to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees

More than one hundred faculty have published an open letter to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees in today’s Daily Orange. The letter supports a University Senate resolution to revise the new mission and vision statement in order to better reflect the values of the University community.

A reductive mission statement was nearly passed by the Board of Trustees early in November, stripping notions of the university as a public good, reference to students of diverse backgrounds, and values of democracy and community engagement.

THE General Body’s sit-in temporarily stopped its passage and won a brief comment period. We support faculty of THE General Body in their effort to add specific language into the mission and vision statement.

Without explanation, the Chancellor has already changed some of the language in the mission and vision statement to reflect THE General Body’s concerns, but there is still no reference to the university as a public good, democracy, or specific support for students from diverse backgrounds.

Visit this website to add your comments about the proposed mission and vision statement. [use below link]

http://fastforward.syr.edu/submit-an-idea/#475:616:_uw9XIHpOEeSy3eshWJ9weA

Open Letter to Chancellor Syverud and Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees In response to Chancellor Syverud’s recent agreement to extend the period for comment on the university’s new vision and mission statements, we, faculty in support of THE General Body, wish to express a different shared vision for Syracuse University, as embodied by the Centennial Declaration of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) (see below). We wish to draw attention to the fact that the Chancellor’s new mission statement is inconsistent with many of the principles in this declaration. Notably, it fails to emphasize the university as a public good, and omits important language about Syracuse University’s commitment to uphold the values of democracy, shared governance, transparency, access to opportunity, creativity, and community engagement. We are concerned that the new mission statement omits a specific and strong commitment to programs and goals that ensure full access, support, and open participation of faculty, students, and staff with disabilities, historically underrepresented races and ethnicities, and non-hegemonic genders and sexualities. In addition, whereas the new mission statement encourages “global study,” we agree that encouraging “studies of global justice” would more aptly represent the shared values of our university community. We would prefer that the university commit to building a community established on the principles reflected in the AAUP’s Centennial Declaration, rather than adopting any mission statement at all. However, in lieu of such a compromise, we ask that any forthcoming mission statement be revised to incorporate the feedback noted above. We encourage our colleagues in the University Senate to pass the following resolution on December 3, 2014, and urge the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to respect the consensus of the University Senate as a representative body on this campus. Resolved: The Syracuse University Senate affirms and adopts the Centennial Declaration of the American Association of University Professors as part of Syracuse University’s guiding principles. WHY: At a time in which there is concern among faculty nationwide that Academic Freedom and Shared Governance are under threat, it is important to reflect on our shared principles and what they mean. We hope and expect all Syracuse University community members will be mindful of these principles in deliberations and decision making at all levels of governance so that we can become, as the declaration’s provisions state, an institution that is “built on the full and open participation of diverse faculty and students.” We urge all faculty, students, administrators, staff and the Board of Trustees to recognize in their actions that the university is a “public good” and that meaningful “shared governance is a cornerstone” of ensuring that we live up to that high and demanding charge. We draw particular attention to #10, since the Trustees appear to misunderstand shared governance and faculty prerogatives. AAUP Centennial Declaration Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. -1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

  1. The university is a public good, not a private profit-making institution, and corporations or business interests should not dictate teaching or research agendas.
  2. The life of a university should reflect all dimensions of human endeavor and be built on the full and open participation of diverse faculty and students.
  3. The main aims of teaching are the dissemination of knowledge and the fostering of creativity; learning is not just about developing “job skills.”
  4. The main aim of research is to create new knowledge, and academic freedom is essential for the free search for truth and its free expression. Research is not just about enhancing the profit margins of corporations.
  5. After teaching and research, the third mission of universities is about engaging communities and addressing social disadvantage, and not just about “enterprise engagement” or “economic development.”
  6. All who work at universities are entitled to a dignified and collegial workplace free of surveillance and authoritarian dictates and to resist the degradation of their working conditions.
  7. Students are the next generation of enlightened and humane citizens, not just revenue streams or the bearers of collateral for unsustainable debt loads.
  8. Information and communications technologies are welcome tools for teaching and research but should not be used to impoverish the quality of education or reduce faculty-student contact time.
  9. University management should resist public education cutbacks and reverse the multiplying of senior management posts, many of which are unnecessary.
  10. Faculty shared governance is the cornerstone of any university that values teaching and research. The authority of faculty in hiring decisions, promotions, and curricular matters should not be compromised by donors, trustees, or administrators. Similarly, the faculty voice in budgeting, institutional planning, and other internal operations should not be marginalized.

  Signed,   Kishi Animashaun Ducre, Department of African American Studies Barbara Applebaum, Cultural Foundations of Education Philip P. Arnold, Department of Religion Carol Babiracki, Art and Music Histories Crystal Bartolovich, Department of English Himika Bhattacharya, Women’s & Gender Studies Anne C. Bellows, Food Studies Jacob Bendix, Department of Geography Robert Bogdan, Maxwell School and School of Education Zachary Braiterman, Department of Religion Harriet Brown, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Lori Brown, School of Architecture Joan Bryant, Department of African American Studies John Burdick, Anthropology Dympna Callaghan, Department of English Horace G Campbell, African American Studies and Political Science Linda Carty, Department of African American Studies Melissa Chessher, Magazine Department, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Stephanie Clare, Humanities Faculty Fellow Steven Cohan, Department of English John Colasacco, Writing Andrea Constable, Writing Pedro J DiPietro, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies Emily Dressing, Writing Richard Dubin, Television, Radio and Film, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Emily Duke, Transmedia Studies Susan Edmunds, Department of English Cathy Engstrom, Department of Higher Education Scott Erdman, Department of Biology Carol Fadda-Conrey, Department of English Ellen Fallon, Writing Beth Ferri, School of Education Maureen Fitzsimmons, Writing Alan Foley, School of Education Chris Forster, Department of English Myrna García-Calderón, Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Horace G Campbell, African American Studies and Political Science Jules Gibbs, Department of English Tula Goenka, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Ann Grodzins Gold, Departments of Religion and Anthropology Mike Goode, Department of English Cecilia A. Green, Department of Sociology Diane Grimes, Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies Marcelle Haddix, School of Education Roger Hallas, Department of English/LGBT Studies Gail Hamner, Religion Department Laura Heyman, Transmedia Gail Hoffman, Departments of Foundation & Transmedia, CVPA Matt Huber, Department of Geography Sydney Hutchinson, Department of Art and Music Histories Dawnelle Jager, Writing Dawn Johnson, School of Education Paula Johnson, Law Amy Kallander, History Claudia Klaver, Department of English Ivy Kleinbart, Writing Prema Kurien, Department of Sociology Jude Lewis, School of Art, VPA Katharine Lewis, Department of Biology Carol M. Liebler, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Christina M. Limpert, Department of Design Vincent Lloyd, Department of Religion Amy Lutz, Sociology Erin Mackie, Department of English Eleanor Maine, Department of Biology Laurie Marhoefer, History Donna Marsh, Writing Vivian M. May, Women’s & Gender Studies Janis A. Mayes, Department of African American Studies Ryan McClure, Writing Janis McDonald, College of Law Rae Ann Meriwether, Writing Susan W. S. Millar, Department of Geography Don Mitchell, Department of Geography Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Women’s and Gender Studies Mark Monmonier, Department of Geography Don Morton, Department of English Laurel Morton, School of Design, CVPA Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo, Department of African American Studies Erin Murphy, Foundations, CVPA Dawit Negussey, Civil and Environmental Engineering Dana M. Olwan, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies Jackie Orr, Department of Sociology Anne C. Osborne, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Arthur E. Paris, Department of Sociology Stephen Parks, Writing Deborah Pellow, Anthropology Mario Rios Perez, Cultural Foundations of Education Tom Perreault, Department of Geography Spencer Piston, Department of Political Science Jessica Posner, Transmedia, VPA Sarah Pralle, Department of Political Science Minnie Bruce Pratt, Women’s & Gender Studies and Writing & Rhetoric Beth Prieve, Communication Sciences and Disorders Gretchen Purser, Department of Sociology Erin J. Rand, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, LGBT Studies Romita Ray, Department of Art and Music Histories Lani Diane Rich, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication Robin Riley, Women’s and Gender Studies Alicia Ríos, Languages, Literatures & Linguistics Dalia Rodriguez, Cultural Foundations of Education Patricia Roylance, English Department Herbert Ruffin, Department of African American Studies Mark Rupert, Department of Political Science Tod Rutherford, Department of Geography Mara Sapon-Shevin, School of Education Eileen Schell, Writing Rebecca Schewe, Department of Sociology Amy Schrager Lang, English and Humanities Kicia Sears, Writing Rachael Shapiro, Writing Tom Sherman, Department of Transmedia, CVPA Stephanie Shirilan, Department of English Bruce Smith, Department of English Dana Spiotta, Department of English Joanna Spitzner, Department of Art/Foundation Jennifer Stromer-Galley, School of Information Studies Mišo Suchý, Department of Transmedia Diane Swords, Intergroup Dialogue Program Harvey Teres, Department of English George Theoharis, School of Education Silvio A Torres-Saillant, Department of English Dale Tussing, Economics Margaret Susan Thompson, History Susan S. Wadley, Anthropology, Maxwell Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Department of Religion Sally Roesch Wagner, Renée Crown University Honors Program Ernest Wallwork, Department of Religion Jim Watts, Department of Religion Vanessa Watts, Writing Jason R. Wiles, Department of Biology James M. Williams, College of Law Bob Wilson, Department of Geography Marion Wilson, Teaching and Leadership, School of Education

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MARCH FOR MIKE BROWN #SUFERGUSON

 

MARCH4MIKE2

 

 

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS RALLY TOGETHER MONDAY AT HENDRICKS CHAPEL TO JOIN NATIONAL “HANDS UP WALK OUT” MIKE BROWN SOLIDARITY PROTESTS

 

December 1, 2014. Today, Syracuse University students and faculty will join a national walk-out in solidarity with the Ferguson Action Team’s national call. The walk-out will take place at 1:01 p.m. EST, the same time when Mike Brown was fatally shot by former Officer Darren Wilson at 12:01 p.m. CST on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, MO. This protest will be held a week after a grand jury failed to indict Wilson and on the first day of school after the Thanksgiving break.

 

Students will convene in front of Hendricks Chapel at 12:45 p.m. to give their opening remarks. At 1:01 p.m. students will march from Hendricks Chapel, down the stairs in front of the Hall of Languages and down to Marshall Street. Students will continue along the strip marching back to Hendricks Chapel [map attached below]. This march and walk-out will conclude at 2 p.m. after students and faculty make connections to the events in Ferguson to issues in Syracuse. At the conclusion of the event marchers will stand silent for 4.5 minutes to symbolize the 4.5  hours Mike Brown’s body was in the street after he was fatally shot.

 

This walk-out occurs five days following a press-conference and rally in downtown Syracuse, which was held the day after the announcement that Wilson would not face indictment for Brown’s fatal shooting. In the week since this announcement was made, countless communities across the nation have rallied together in effort to stand in alliance with the protesters of Ferguson. This is the second protest against Mike Brown’s death to be held at Syracuse University this semester. Another walk-out was held on the first day of the school year, the same day Mike Brown was expected to continue his education beyond high school.

 

For more information contact:

Kimberly E. Powell (954) 394-4923 kimepow@gmail.com

Alejandra Aviña (773) 931-2211 alejandra.avinaa@gmail.com

 

 

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Atlanta alumni: SU students need your help to advance diversity and transparency

cropped-the-general-body-long-logo2.jpg

November 19, 2014

Dear SU Alumni of Atlanta,

We understand that you will be having an event with Chancellor Kent Styverud tonight, and thought we’d write to update you on some things that have been happening at SU over the past few weeks.

As you may have read in USA Today, The Nation, Democracy Now!, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, members of THE General Body—a coalition of 50 student groups—have been sitting in Crouse-Hinds Hall for 16 nights (since November 3). Students are pushing for transparency, diversity, democratic decision-making, vital student services, and inclusive institutional change. We invite you to learn more about us at thegeneralbody.org, and read the comprehensive list of student needs and grievances that we are currently negotiating with upper-level administration.

Our decision to sit in was not made lightly. Many of the students who are part of THE General Body are active in campus organizations and working groups. However, their voices have not been heard through the traditional channels. The following issues have called into question the administration’s commitment to students’ health, safety, and well-being:

  • The closure of the campus Advocacy Center, which provided services for sexual assault survivors

  • The defunding of the POSSE scholarship program, which provided educational opportunities and mentoring to inner-city student leaders

  • The lack of accessibility for students with disabilities

  • The need for improved mental health services

  • The university’s new proposed mission and vision statements, which omit language supporting diversity, citizenship, accessibility, democracy, and community engagement.

  • The need for democratic decision-making processes involving students

We are inspired by the history of student activism by SU alumni. For example, at a rally earlier this fall we were inspired to hear from an alum who had been part of the Coalition Against Racism and Apartheid protests and encampment in 1985, when students persuaded the Board of Trustees to divest from South African companies. We are proud to be part of this legacy, and your support, evident in letters like this one, means so much to us.

YOU CAN HELP US BY CALLING ON CHANCELLOR SYVERUD TO SIGN THIS GOOD FAITH COMMITMENT CONTRACT COMMITTING TO THE FOLLOWING STUDENT NEEDS:

  1. A Commitment from Chancellor Syverud that he will not cut any more programs or scholarships that recruit and admit U.S. students of color and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

  1. A Commitment from Chancellor Syverud that he will abide by the original contract made to the POSSE program, three years of which were prematurely cut without consulting any students

  1. A Commitment from Chancellor Syverud that he will hire seven more counselors for Syracuse University’s Counseling Center, as the International Association of Counseling Services, SU’s accrediting agency for counseling, recommends.

  1. A Commitment from Chancellor Syverud that he will hire an additional psychiatrist to the one that serves nearly 24,000 students on both SUNY ESF and SU’s campus.

  1. A commitment from Chancellor Syverud to honor and implement the recommendations of the Workgroup on Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Advocacy, which was created after community outcry in response to the irresponsible closure of the Advocacy Center.

  1. A commitment to financial transparency on campus, including that the Chancellor provide the necessary salary data to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and that he making a comprehensive budget breakdown public–including student tuition and the $1.044 billion raised in The Campaign for SU.

WE ALSO ASK THAT THE CHANCELLOR COMMIT TO SIGNING A NON-RETALIATION AGREEMENT FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF WHO HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR THESE STUDENT NEEDS VIA THE SIT-IN.

We encourage you to speak to the Chancellor at tonight’s alumni event in Atlanta, or to reach out to him at ksyverud@syr.edu to ask him to commit to addressing these urgent student needs.

You can also help by contacting the Syracuse University Office of Alumni Engagement directly, by calling (315) 443-3258 or e-mailing them at sualumni@syr.edu.

As alumni, donors, and spokespeople for the university, you have significant power to help us communicate our call for change. Please help communicate our message to the administration, so we can work to implement real changes that will benefit all Syracuse University students.

With gratitude,

THE General Body

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Poetry & Protest: Adeyemi Adedrian Reads A Poem about THE General Body

Adeyemi Adedrian, a junior in Arts & Sciences reads a poem he wrote for THE General Body.

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