Keith Henderson joined the University in 2020 as chief compliance officer within the Office of University Counsel. In his role, Henderson oversees all of the University’s compliance efforts, including the governance structure, compliance with all state and federal laws and…
What to Know About Campus Commitments and the Demonstration at Crouse-Hinds Hall
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees have been working respectfully and collaboratively over the last several months to effect urgent, lasting and meaningful change. This includes the establishment of the Board’s Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion and the Independent Advisory Panel, both of which are actively engaging with the campus community.
The steps the University has taken and continues to take are being chronicled on Syracuse.edu/commitments and shared regularly via email, on social media, in small group dialogue sessions and via one-to-one conversations. This progress tackles some of the most pressing issues relative to climate, safety, curriculum, multicultural living, health and wellness and anti-bias training.
On Monday, Feb. 17, students began a peaceful demonstration in Crouse-Hinds Hall. Several University leaders have been working to engage these students in a productive and respectful manner.
Students were told they were welcome to demonstrate in Crouse-Hinds Hall during the building’s hours of operation, which are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The students were advised, on multiple occasions, that they would need to move their demonstration to spaces on campus that are open past 9 p.m.
Students were advised that failure to leave the building at 9 p.m. would result in a verbal warning, then a written warning and that students who fail to comply with these warnings would be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for conduct charges, which could include an immediate interim suspension.
Students were invited to continue their demonstration overnight in Bird Library, which is open 24 hours, and then return to Crouse-Hinds Hall in the morning when the building reopened. University leaders also offered to store their personal items in the building overnight so they wouldn’t have to move it to another space on campus. They declined all of these options.
The students who failed to comply with exiting the building once it closed for the evening were referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for violating the Campus Disruption Policy. They were issued interim suspensions for not adhering to the Student Code of Conduct for refusing to leave a building after hours of operation. No students are being suspended for protesting.
As a result, the University moved classes out of Crouse-Hinds Hall and only individuals with card access to the building are allowed in.
Students are free to leave the building at any time. They have been asked, on multiple occasions, to leave the building.
Students who were issued interim suspensions and live in a campus residence hall or South Campus apartment may remain in their campus residence and use campus dining centers.
Though the University continues to support peaceful demonstration and the free and respectful exchange of ideas, University leaders are enforcing established policies that help maintain an environment that fosters sensitivity, understanding and respect for all 22,000 students in our community, as well as our faculty, staff and visitors.
As members of the Independent Advisory Panel are on campus this week, University leadership encourages students to participate in those listening sessions and contribute in meaningful ways.