University Conversations Continue with Student Group
On Friday, for the fourth straight day, University College Dean Bea González held meetings with representatives of THE General Body in an effort to resolve demands of students maintaining a presence at Crouse-Hinds Hall. Thursday night she met with students until about 11:30 p.m. Early Friday morning, students provided Dean González with a new version of their Demands and Solutions document. Now totaling 45 pages, the document adds a series of new demands.
Yesterday, members of the Chancellor’s Executive Team reviewed the document and provided another written response. Dean González expects to continue some conversations with the group today.
“As Chancellor Syverud has said, we support our students who are making their voices heard and speaking out on issues that are important to them,” said Kevin Quinn, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs. “We believe we have negotiated in good faith. We have responded to each one of the students’ requests for feedback, dialogue and cooperation. At the same time, it is counterproductive that the demands continue to change and shift. We are absolutely committed to a continued dialogue and hope the group can focus and stabilize its demands.”
Yesterday afternoon, University officials informed students that the policy currently in effect for weeknights will apply through the weekend, given that Crouse-Hinds Hall normally closes at 5 p.m. Friday. After that time, doors will be secured for safety, students will not be allowed to re-enter the building if they leave, and per fire code, a limit of 40 students will be enforced.
Since THE General Body first entered Crouse-Hinds Hall on Monday afternoon, the University has taken the following good-faith actions:
• Holding a nearly 90-minute meeting Monday evening with six members of the Chancellor’s Executive Team and nearly 20 student representatives.
• Appointing Dean González to serve as a liaison to the students during the ongoing conversations.
• Holding a 90-minute public meeting on Wednesday between Chancellor Syverud and 80 members of THE General Body where demands and concerns were shared.
• Offering to delay action by the Board of Trustees on the University’s mission and vision statements to allow for an additional campus comment period.
• Offering an opportunity to meet with a group of Board of Trustees members on Saturday.
• Expressing willingness by the University to sign a non-retaliation/student judicial violations commitment that would cover students who participated.
• Promising to expedite a search for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator and to include input from the students during the search process.
• Making a commitment by Provost Eric Spina and Senior Vice President Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz to meet with the group as soon as possible and for as long as necessary to go through the 45-page living document point by point.