– via n +1: This piece first appeared in the third issue of the OWS-inspired Gazette: OCCUPY!

RACHEL SIGNER, Dec 26, 2011
I arrived at the New School in the fall of 2008 to do a master’s degree in anthropology. Tuition was $23,000 per year—this did not include room or board—but the opportunity to be in a great intellectual community eased my anxiety about the cost. A little bit.

Tuition was high for a reason: the school, I soon learned, was on shaky financial footing. Founded in 1919 in part by Columbia professors disgusted by their university’s support of World War I, then expanded in 1933 as a refuge for scholars fleeing Fascism and Nazism in Europe, it wasn’t the sort of place that produced the sort of people who turned around and gave their alma mater millions of dollars. The endowment was meager, and the school relied on tuition for revenue.

The New School needed to improve its financial situation and its status, and it was going to do it, like any New York institution, through real estate. It owned an old two-story building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street—a former department store whose slogan had been “Fifth Avenue Values at 14th Street Prices”—that it was going to tear down and replace it with a state-of-the-art gleaming sixteen-story tower, home to studios for designers and artists studying at the New School’s profitable design institute, Parsons, and laboratories (for whom, no one could tell you; the New School offers no courses in hard sciences), retail food vendors, apartments, and—most insulting of all, I think, to the symbolic heirs, as we liked to consider ourselves, of refugees from fascism—a fitness center. At the time, the building, at 65 Fifth Avenue, was a multi-purpose meeting place where graduate students could read quietly, have lunch in the café, or find books in the basement library. There had been classrooms upstairs, but at that point they had already been relocated to the Minimalist-style building a few blocks away where my department, Anthropology, was crammed together with Sociology.

Read the rest of this entry »

from the New York Times

By AIDAN GARDINER

New School President David Van Zandt conferred with student occupiers on Thursday.

Much of New York City may be having a hard time getting used to the presence of protesters, but at the New School, the progressive liberal-arts bastion in Greenwich Village, occupation is a semiregular occurrence.

And on Thursday afternoon, as thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched from Union Square to Foley Square, roughly a hundred New School students veered off, rushed the university’s study center at 90 Fifth Avenue and declared the school to be occupied once again.

It was the New School’s third occupation in four years, and in stark contrast to 2009, when the university’s president at the time, former United States Senator Bob Kerreycalled in the police to arrest student protesters, the university’s administration is fine with it.

“As long as they’re not disrupting the educational functions of the university they can stay,” the university’s president, David E. Van Zandt, said Thursday. “It’s a tough time for students right now, and we’re aware of that. These are big social issues.”

After entering the space, protesters asked those present to leave if they did not want to participate in the occupation. Then they covered the windows and hung banners outside with slogans like “Annihilate capitalism! Retaliate and destroy,” and “People power not ivory tower.”

The occupation followed a rally in Union Square Thursday afternoon where students from Cooper Union, New York University and the New School and other colleges spoke out against what they called high costs and weak financial-aid systems.

Dacia Mitchell, a 30 year-old doctoral student at New York University holding a toddler in her arms, said at the rally, “I’m here with my 2 year-old because I can’t afford child care. I cannot say I haven’t received any support. I get a stipend of $200 per semester which affords me one week of day care if I’m lucky.”

Tuitions at the New School vary depending on the division, but often approach $20,000 per semester.

After the students occupied the study center, police officers initially barred others from following the protesters, but eventually Dr. Van Zandt told them to allow people with valid student identification to pass through, even those who attend other universities.

The study center is on the second floor of a larger apartment building. The university leases the space, and Dr. Van Zandt said that although he had no intention of ousting the students, the building’s owner, 90 Fifth Owner L.L.C., could call the police in if it deemed the protesters hazardous.

Many protesters declined to speak to reporters because they had not yet collectively decided how to interact with the press. Protesters also barred reporters from entering the occupied space.

Chris Crews, a graduate student studying politics at the New School, said that the scene inside was calm. Students were gathered in general assemblies. He also said that the group did not yet have many provisions like sleeping bags for a longer stay, but they would gradually collect them.

By Friday morning, the number of occupiers dipped to about 30, but many had left to run errands and collect supplies for their return later in the day.

“The most encouraging thing is that the administration and students haven’t had a serious confrontation yet,” Mr. Crews said.

In a statement released online, the occupiers said that universities create social inequality because they are so expensive.

“Skyrocketing tuition costs at public and private institutions deny us access to higher education and saddle us with crushing debt,” the statement read. “We will reclaim this elite space and make it open to all.”

The occupiers plan to hold another general assembly on Friday afternoon where they seek to draw more students from neighboring universities.

“The hope is that the space at 90 Fifth can be a jumping-off point for student activism throughout the city,” Mr. Crews said. “This could be a one-off, or it could be the beginning of a new wave of student occupations.”

New School Walkout March 4th

February 24, 2010

https://i1.wp.com/afterthefallcommuniques.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/AfterTheFall_map.jpgAfter the Fall: Communiques from Occupied California is now available for on-line reading

The parting words of After the Fall– at once both a summation and a call– present the occupations in the past 6 months as a “vulgar and beautiful” destabilizing force within a larger arena of forces, at times nomadic and imperceptible, at other times spectacularly, with declarations and attitude.

Still, the finale of welfare state social services, the numbing terror of disaster, displacement, the colonial politics, the social death of civic life, the logic of representation, the endless reproduction of modern misery, the absent future, the crises of capital, the Afghan offensive, the government in a box– none of this deserves the elegance of any of the words we printed in this publication. They deserve a swift, merciless street fight.

Quickly now.
After the Fall.

Read the rest of this entry »


March Forth Tour Dates:
Thursday Feb 18th– SUNY Purchase
Wednesday Feb 24th– SUNY Stony Brook
Friday Feb 26th– SUNY Albany
Saturday Feb 27th– SUNY New Paltz

Get in touch if you can help out with any of these dates!


A response to the University’s Capital Planning Seminar taking place earlier in the same building.

At night on 19 Nov, approximately 75 (non)students from the New School, NYU, CUNY, and other university-factories in NYC marched from Washington to Union Squares and back in a gesture of solidarity with the wave of occupations that has swept the University of California system in response to the 32% tuition hike, budget cuts, and the reproduction of students as consumer-commodities ready to work for spectacle-subjects. The march saw crazy hooligans hanging banners off of buildings; masked rogues scattering trashcans, newspaper boxes and plastic barricades across Fifth Avenue; sexy dancing throughout the streets an attempted occupation of a Parsons art party as well as the good ol’ 65 5th ave. Unfortunately, the fun ended when cops managed to pierce the motley mob, arresting two after beating them on the sidewalk.

The two arrested were taken to the 6th Precint in the West Village, where much of the crowd ended up at the end of the night, dancing and singing out front, distributing pamphlets and glow sticks, and remaining until the two walked free.

Read the rest of this entry »

https://i2.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3652/3460976441_d00877996f.jpgNew School administrative chumps release their version of events of the reoccupation of 65 5th ave on April 10th, 2009.

Download Report here

Highlights:

  • One banner read “April Fools, motherfucker.”  Because the Occupation was on April 10, it is not clear what this banner was intended to suggest.
  • The officer called on police Hazmat units to contain the trash can and the area around it, which was dyed red.
  • In the period between approximately 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., members of the occupying party, wearing hoods and masks, began appearing on the roof for different intervals of time.  Reports indicate that during these intervals the occupants read a list of complaints regarding the University as well as manifestos criticizing the capitalist system.

Read the rest of this entry »

wDownload the New School Disorientation Guide:

FOR PRINTING

FOR READING

The campus has been dead for months now, it yearns for the hustle of students running late to class, meeting each other in the courtyard and recanting their nights, marching angrily or partying in the streets. During the summer the administration had the time and space to put everything back in its right place: sandblasting graffiti, installing a Starbucks, closing the 65 5th Avenue building for good, prosecuting and fining rebellious students, sweeping up the broken glass and letting the pepper spray disperse in the air. For the University administrators, the last two semesters were a nightmare, but they are hopeful that with Kerrey’s announcement that he will resign in 2011 (which effectively fooled many into thinking he had already resigned) that the action on campus will calm down. Students will return to focusing on trivial “quality of life” issues such as “greening” the campus and getting more organic food into the cafeteria, so the New School’s return to radicalism will finally come to the end.

What they didn’t count on is the incoming student body actually knowing what they are entering: a war-zone.  . . .

Stay in Exile

May 18, 2009

You.

Yeah, you, the one behind the computer screen with the saucer eyes and granola crumbs in your whiskers.  Don’t look around to your left and right.  We’re talking to you, potential collaborationist, potential disrade.  Wearing that ironic shirt, reading Foucault and listening to an album that’s so off-the-wall indie it’s the theme song from Full House on repeat for 83 minutes.  There is a subtle intimation of distortion at the beginning of minute 51, but no other added effects.

We want you to bask in our joy at the recent news that Bob Kerrey will remain as president of The New School for two more years.  Weeks ago, when he announced his resignation, we conceded a small defeat.  But we had been duped.  How genius: he was really just announcing his future resignation!

[insert generic manifestation of happiness here]

Read the rest of this entry »

To help push along the inquiry into the facts concerning the occupation of 65 Fifth Avenue on April 10th 2009, we are offering clear and direct responses to all the questions that the New School Investigation Committee is seeking to answer. We do hope this clears some things up.

On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM, Announce Announce  <Announce@newschool.edu>  wrote:

May 5, 2009

The Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Co-chairs of the Faculty Senate have agreed to form a Committee, to be convened by the Chairman of the Board, to conduct a detailed inquiry into the facts relating to the occupation of 65 Fifth Avenue on April 10, 2009 and subsequent events.

Among the questions we expect our report to inquire into are the following:

1.      How was entry into 65 Fifth Avenue effected early in the morning of April 10?

Through the vortex.

2.      How many persons entered the building at that time?

A risk of lobsters.

(a)     How many were students or faculty of the University?  How many were not connected with the University?

We are all connected to capital; the university is a capitalist enterprise; we are all connected to the university. QED

3.      What was the stated purpose of the entry and how was that purpose communicated?

The effacement of law through an act of divine violence communicated through its very being(-out-of-time).

4.      Did the persons entering the building threaten or cause physical harm to any persons or property in the building?

I remember when the property cried, torrents of saltwater down the gutters of law. “Respect my rights,” the doors sang. “Over my dead body,” whispered the epoxy. “But my texture!” the carpet chanted. “Be my lover,” the paint responded. A family of things, packed together in church. “Shhh! The sermon is about to start,” opened the gates.

Read the rest of this entry »

News reports:  NY1 Report | New York Times report | CityFileGone but not forgotten

New School Economics Review – President Bob Kerrey, against whom the New School students have been protesting for a long time now (as mentioned earlier) will leave the New School in 2011 once his current contract expires. He confirmed that he will not try to extend his tenure at the University’s Board of Trustees Meeting yesterday, and re-affirmed it with the New York Times this morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Renounce Renounce

May 5, 2009

TO: Renounce Renounce

An Important Announcement from the Office of the President

April 30, 2009

RE: PURCHASE OF THREE AVALANCHE-HURRICANE TRUCKS

*A Note to the New School Community,*

As Commencement approaches and the academic year winds down, The Office of the President would like to take the opportunity to announce the acquisition of three Russian produced Avalance-Hurricane crowd-control vehicles. As noted in the New York Times clipping accompanying this email, these “anti-democracy” trucks (as they are called by the factory employees who produce them) are shrouded in steel armor, come standard with brick-and-cobblestone-resistant window grilles, sprinklers attached to tanks of pepper spray, speakers that can emit ear-splitting noise, and a joystick-operated water cannon capable of toppling protestors from dozens of yards away.

https://i0.wp.com/www.newschoolinexile.com/modules/coppermine/albums/userpics/10000/ns_hurricane_bob.png

Read the rest of this entry »

“OCCUPY EVERYTHING”

The Battle to Take Back the New School

By BARUCHA CALAMITY PELLER

Owing to pending legal issues, as well as continuing intimidation from school administration towards student organizers, all the New School students are quoted anonymously in this article, at their request. CB.

“We occupied a university building, workers in Chicago occupied their factory, people facing foreclosures have refused to leave their homes. Occupation is not merely a tactic to get some demands met; it is a practical strategy for taking our lives back into our own hands. Let’s occupy everything until everything is ours.” – a student at the New School for Social Research, NY

On Friday, April 10, in the first lights of a cool Manhattan dawn, banging could be heard up to a block away from the four-story New School building at 65 5th Ave, and the sound of chains scraping against metal permeated the silent morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

[editor’s note: Kerrey’s message is in normal font, the response is in bold]

Message from President Kerrey to the New School Community

A response to President Kerrey’s message to the New School Community

The past few weeks have seen increased protest actions on and off our campus.  These demonstrations have involved many individuals outside of The New School community and the issues they protest vary. Among their concerns are the war in Iraq, Darfur, homelessness, and the economy.

Mr. Kerrey is quite confused.  The direct concerns are Kerrey and Murtha and their characteristic lack of tact, understanding and ability to run a university.  This includes, but is not limited to the brutality shown by the NYPD on April 10, Mr. Kerrey’s support for the Iraq War and the pressures of the economic downturn on the New School Student body (and students as a whole).  Is it so unreasonable to think that students who care about such things are only self-interested and thus would not be concerned about homelessness and the genocide in Darfur?  I think not.  However, Kerrey seems to forget the part of Thursday’s actions when the rally (predominantly students of The New School, joined in solidarity by students from other NYC Universities) stood outside his home and reminded him that they want him to leave.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday April 20

All students who were involved in the reoccupation of 65 Fifth Ave are UNSUSPENDED, until their disciplinary review hearing occurs. This “modification” of the disciplinary review rules did not just happen out of nowhere; it happened because the administration knew that if they didn’t lift the suspensions, then the gates of chaos might just open up on 5th Ave again.

Wednesday April 22

University Student Senate All-Student Assembly
Wollman Hall at 6pm (W. 11th)

Students and Workers Protest @ CUNY and Stella D’Oro:
2pm at City College, W. 137th Convent Ave

Thursday April 23
-ACT-UAW Parsons faculty firing rally
12-1 pm, 66 W. 12th

OCCUPY  EVERYTHING

DROP THE CHARGES,  OCCUPY AGAIN

OCCUPY AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN

A, ANTI, ANTICAPITALISTA

ABOLISH TIME

NEGATE  NEGATION

OPEN UP THE VORTEX, LET US IN

WE DESTROY THE PRESENT, WE COME FROM THE FUTURE

OFF THE SIDEWALKS,  INTO THE FUTURE

WHOSE TIME?  OUR TIME!

HEY HEY, HO HO, BOB KERREY’S GOT TO GO

THE WHOLE SPECTACLE IS WATCHING

ABOLISH EXCHANGE-VALUE

FROM NEW YORK TO GREECE, FUCK THE POLICE

NEGATE, NEGATE, NEGATE THE PRESENT STATE

We concede a loss in the ongoing struggle of the administration and the collaborationists versus the anarcho-anarchists, who recently referred to themselves as revolutionary time-sperm attempting to wiggle from the withered urethra of the present into the magnetic egg of the future – a transcendence they claim would threaten the gilded totality of domination.  Bob Kerrey has resigned.  His final statement reflected the small victory of our enemies: “I am a redundant entity. Additionally, I am a redundant entity.”

We regret his departure.  As a parting gift, we have bestowed unto him the body of a heavily armed Jesus Christ nailed to a painting that depicts a decapitated student washed up on a beach and handcuffed to a painting, as well as a partial collection of Steven Seagal’s action films on VHS.

Read the rest of this entry »