Graduate Faculty Student Senate Statement on Occupation

April 14, 2009

The Graduate Faculty Student Senate (GFSS) maintains:

The student body of the New School for Social Research has convened on this evening of April 13, 2009 because there is a undeniable need to respond to the events of April 10, 2009.

The force used by the NYPD against the students and unaffiliated protesters is unacceptable. The GFSS condemns the administration’s invitation to the absurd scale of police force on our campus, and the violence of last Friday.

The GFSS demands an independent judiciary committee form through the Faculty and Student Senates to investigate the events of April 10, and the administration’s role in the NYPD’s response. We cannot trust the administration’s press statements. We demand that all academic disciplinary action regarding the New School participants in the occupation of April 10 be suspended until this committee has convened and issued a report. We demand transparency in the disciplinary proceedings.

The standing committee on demonstrations is convened for a purpose and has a mandate that has not been met. The administration’s failure to consult the committee suggests it is a vestigial appendage of the bureaucracy meant to pacify complaints rather than address legitimate concerns. A process to overhaul this committee and the University’s demonstration guidelines must begin through the Faculty and Student Senates.

The actions of the administration undermine the progress it is supposed to have made since December. By failing to consult the Provost’s office, New School President Bob Kerrey has reneged on the promises of change he agreed to in the Minimum Requirements document, and betrayed its spirit of inclusive decision making. This constitutes a con rmation that the current administration still has no commitment to transparency, accountability, or democracy.

We call on the Board of Trustees to hold Kerrey accountable.

Kerrey’s conflation of terrorism and the events of September 11, 2001 with the occupation on April 10, 2009 is unacceptable fear-mongering, and is a palpable threat to the large foreign-national population of New School students. We demand an apology from Bob Kerrey, and that he repudiate his statement.

We ask the Faculty Senate to consider this statement, which carries the weight of the NSSR student body, and that they issue a statement to be combined with this one, as well any other student statements, to be released as a joint student-faculty statement.

We urge you to join us in restating the vote of no con dence of December 2008.

Best regards,

The Graduate Faculty Student Senate
The New School for Social Research
New York, NY

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