Administrators, #NotAgainSU disagree on negotiation outcomes
Administrators, #NotAgainSU differ on outcomes
#NotAgainSU responded to the Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu’s letter to the student body claiming that the administration is spreading “life-threatening misinformation about the student activism in Crouse-Hinds Hall.”
Much of the critique from the protesters has to do with the wording of the letter. The letter refers to the negotiations as “engagement sessions” and #NotAgainSU’s demands as “requests.”
The administration also says that the “engagement sessions” were “completed,” but #NotAgainSU claims that not all of their demands were fully discussed. As a result, #NotagainSU is requesting further negotiations on Tuesday March 10 at 4 p.m. in Crouse-Hinds Hall, but the administration has yet to comply.
Additionally, the University has agreed to “hire five new counselors to meet the students’ counseling needs.” #NotAgainSU took issue with this claim because four of the five were already previously announced during the Chancellor’s Winter message. The fifth was added as a result of the discussions last week between administrators and protesters. Organizers said that this is an example of implied “benevolence” on behalf of the administration.
#NotAgainSU also had qualms with the administration using the phrase “whenever possible, the University agreed to the students’ requests as written,” before moving on to list the demands that could not be met. #NotAgainSU claims that this implies “additional resources for students of color, especially Black students, are deemed impossible; the perpetuation of white supremacy is not only possible but the continuous reality.”
They went on to discuss the refusal from the administration to disarm Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers and the refusal to release DPS’s protocols. They say that the latter is especially important because protesters have received death threats.
There was no representative from DPS at the negotiations.
#NotAgainSU organizers are also upset with the administration’s refusal to say that they are complicit with institutional white supremacy and to refusal to say that they starved the students in Crouse-Hinds Hall.
View this post on Instagram
Please read in its entirety. The Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu disseminated a university-wide email yesterday that maintained the administration’s apparent policy to spread life-threatening misinformation about the student activism in Crouse-Hinds Hall, the administration’s response to marginalized students in general, and to Black #NotAgainSU protesters in particular. In this statement, it is paramount that we address the falsehoods line by line as the administration continues to dismiss, gaslight, and enact physical, mental, and emotional violence against a Black-led student movement. While the administration abruptly ended negotiations, #NotAgainSU remains committed to completing them with the administration in person, not via email. #NotAgainSU will be prepared to continue negotiations, Tuesday, March 10th at 4 pm in Crouse-Hinds Hall.
Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu sent an email Saturday morning describing the outcome of the four days of negotiations between #NotAgainSU and Syracuse University administrators.
Negotiations began Monday March 2 and lasted more than 14 hours in total, according to Liu’s email. He highlighted the demands discussed at length over the past week, saying the university has agreed to “common ground” on nine of the #NotAgainSU organizer’s demands. The email also mentioned four demands that the university is unable to satisfy.
“In a few instances, we simply could not support the requests being made, or cannot implement them under the law or under shared governance practices,” Liu said in the email.
Due to legal reasons the identities of those responsible for bias incidents can not be released. Liu clarifies in his email this #NotAgainSU demand would violate federal privacy laws.
In addition, the administration can not agree to disarm the Department of Public Safety, to issue a statement stating, “the University was complicit in perpetuating oppressive systems, specifically white supremacy,” or to force the resignation of the individuals identified by #NotAgainSU.
Liu also outlined the nine demands the University agreed to implement.
“Whenever possible, the University agreed to students’ requests as written; in some cases, the University agreed in principle,” Liu said.
#NotAgainSU organizers and SU administrators left Friday’s negotiations saying that they would like to sign an agreement Monday, day 22 of the sit-in.
Organizers requested an additional negotiation meeting this week, and the university officials denied that request. The groups agreed to sign an agreement, and an official said Chancellor Syverud would also sign.
Throughout the meeting, #NotAgainSU organizers continued to press university officials on their compliance with institutional racism, their use of facial recognition software and their role in protecting Black students on this campus.
The administrators stuck to their original statement about the university not owning or operating facial recognition software, saying the identification of student protestors was done manually. This response was worrisome to organizers because, multiple students were misidentified and suspended for violating the campus disruption policy in Crouse-Hinds Hall by protesting after the building closed.
Organizers also demanded the university release a statement acknowledging how bias incidents on campus are indicative of institutional racism and white supremacy. The administrators said they would need until the end of the semester to release the statement, and #NotAgainSU organizers demanded it be released sooner.
“If we do not get a statement, we will be in this building, and escalation will occur,” an organizer said.