Tag Archives: press conference

“Diversity is a Reality”

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Below is a letter from Danielle Reed’s mother, which Danielle read at our press conference today:

Parents Office and Chancellor Syverud,

Diversity is a reality and you do not have a right to reject and not support students and organizations based on disability (PL 94-142, IDEA etc protections) nor economic or ethnic discrimination. You may cloak it as needed budget cuts or default to other reasons but its apparent your attempts as stated by student investigations. You need to revisit these secretive changes. If you do not heed the populous, the university will not flourish as it has in previous years. If you do not take responsibly and admit to these grave errors, you failed if you came to SU to be a great leader. You inevitably choose to obliterate years of hard work and growth to be an inclusive university as evidenced in the previous vision and mission statements. You technically may have a right to not solicit parent or student approval for these actions but ultimately the university is to serve the students and communities. You will be gone after several years but my child’s education and access to mental and financial need will impact her and my entire family for generations to come.

Sincerely,
Ms. Karla Y. Russell
Curriculum & Instruction with Conflict Resolution M.Ed
Special Education Facilitator B.S.
Online Student for Certification as an Addiction Counselor
Community Activist

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Tatiana Cadet’s Press Statement on Behalf of THE General Body

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Below is Tatiana Cadet’s statement from our press conference last week that describes who THE General Body is and what the group stands for.

Good afternoon and welcome to our space. I am Tatiana Cadet, and this is my first semester at Syracuse University.

As a member of THE General Body, I want to describe who we are and what we stand for.

THE General Body is a diverse coalition of student leaders, coming together to support diversity and transparency on our campus.

It is apparent to us that major transformations are happening at this university, changes that affect the entire Syracuse University community, including those presently here and those to come.

While the Fast Forward Syracuse plan is in the making, we have an idea of where it is headed.

On Thursday and Friday, the Board of Trustees will meet to adopt a new mission and vision statement that strips away many of the values that we hold dear.

References to students of diverse backgrounds, the university as a public good, the role of students as citizens, and the idea that we should be strengthening democracy through this school have been deleted.

We aren’t just concerned about the verbal changes – we have also seen changes in action that have us deeply concerned about the direction of the university.

As many of you know, the Advocacy Center was closed over the summer without student, faculty, or staff input. Not only this but the center was closed with only one day’s notice for students and no adequate replacement services for victims of sexual assault over the summer.

Likewise, an inner-city student leadership program called Posse was closed without consulting with students or transparent information of where the funds would be reallocated.

There are many other incidents on campus that reveal a hostile and unsafe environment for students with marginalized identities, including people of color, disabled students, and students in need of mental health services.

These are not isolated events – they are a trend, as others will address.

It is clear to us that Fast Forward Syracuse is leading us to a university in which decisions are made from the top down.

It is important to point out that this sit-in was our last resort. This is not the first time we have brought up these issues, this is not the first time we are voicing our stance, the rally for Diversity and Transparency was not the first movement intended to voice change.

So in arguing for a diverse, inclusive, and democratic university, we are sitting in. And creating here a diverse, inclusive, democratic space for the voices and perspectives of the university community.

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