New School Students Decide Building Takeovers Are Cool

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Though the preferred protest at Columbia now involves food and camping, we always like a good ol’ building takeover. Students at the New School have obliged us, taking over one of the buildings Tuesday morning, and vowing to stay put until their demands are met, which include the resignation of their president, former Nebraska senator and presidential candidate Bob Kerrey.

The trouble started when Kerrey, who has been president since 2001, fired his fourth provost in seven years. A week ago, university professors voted almost unanimously for “no confidence” in Kerrey, and both professors and students have been calling for his resignation since. Kerrey has been meeting with faculty since then, and, in a gesture we assume must have been dreamed up to show he’s “with the times,” decided to start a blog to face his critics.

It’s unclear if a solution will be reached any time soon, but if it’s resolved in favor of the occupants, maybe this is how Columbia students can defeat the War on Fun. Councils, take note.

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  1. ta-ha!

    oh how the tides have turned, new school. why it was only a scant 90 years ago that you were founded by renegade, antiwar columbia faculty. now the protests are on you! enjoy your 1968...things might get rough for awhile after.

  2. woooo

    lets have takeovers, sit ins and hunger strikes for everything we want!

  3. Up Against

    The wall, Motherfucker!

  4. are  

    they going home for christmas?

  5. Seriously?  

    It's really incredibly irresponsible for Bwog to be encouraging this kind of behavior. After the failure of the hunger strike (and failure of it to garner any real support), to promote taking the university hostage (however jokingly) to get what you want is something we have to guard against, not encourage.

  6. Crotchety Old Man

    I've got a "student occupation" for ya- BURGER FLIPPER

  7. man

    these kids need to grow up

  8. ...  

    art school is for rich kids. why are they wasting their time? they should just call mommy and daddy and ask them to stop payment on their tuition checks.

  9. ???

    it's got an art school, like columbia, but also like columbia, it's not all art school. people study everything there.

  10. apennyforoldguy

    They definitely didn't plan for the long haul:

    Feces and urine!

  11. confused

    Everybody knows that Bob Kerrey is a raving right-wing, pro-establishment reactionary. No?

    • who has nonetheless  

      done a great job making their school relevant in the last several years. We wouldn't even be reading on BWOG that this was happening had Bob Kerrey not reminded everyone what the eff the New School is.

      • wait  

        that's like saying that A-Jad was okay because he's brought so much attention to Iran.

        Just because Kerrey has reminded everyone New School exists, doesn't mean he should remain in his job if he clearly sucks.

        I vote PrezBo for New School President! consolidation!

    • Bob Kerry

      =the man, former Navy SEAL who won the Medal of Honor. He's done more good in his life than cynical brats like you will ever do (or most other people for that matter).

      • ah...

        I was kidding, moron. Sarcasm is not very obvious to you, is it?

      • that

        in no way makes him a good University President, nor a moral man. Pervez Musharraf headed up Pakistan's special forces and was a decorated general with a heart of cold.

        • winning

          the medal of honor is a different story. It's not the fact that people don't agree with his policies that is upsetting, it is their disrespectful way of expressing it (i.e putting duct tape on their faces and staging silly trivial sit ins). These spoiled kids have most likely never known an ounce of hardship, never shed more than a tear for anyone else, and here they are mocking a great man who risked and almost lost his life for his country and men (and is now doing his best for them). These kids should take a step back and realize how trivial their whole lives are compared to his.

          • Ok.

            I was being sarcastic before, as I just find it funny that Bob Kerrey, who is famous for his anti-war views, has become a pariah in a school famous for left-wing politics. I know that the protests against him may have something to do with his management style, and I acknowledge the possibility that some of the complaints may be legitimate. (I, for one, have no idea). But the way that he is being ostracized is very similar to the way that people with "intolerable" political views are ostracized in such institutions, and I can't help but find irony in the possibility that they view even him to be among the "intolerable." That said, the way that you regard the Medal of Honor as the "be all and end all" of life-- as a mark that automatically bestows upon its recipients a status above all other living beings-- is likewise ridiculous. I suggest you take a chill pill.

  12. that being said  

    He fired their provost and combined the Provost's role into his own. That's a blatant centralization of power, and I don't think this should be compared with the absurd/trivial hunger strike. There seems to be mass discontent with Kerrey not just from a few radical students, but from a lot of them, and also from FACULTY.

  13. ughhhh  

    fuck the undertones of conservatism within my generation -- though comments within bwog are not representative of the zeitgeist, it seems as if this generation is vacuous, consumerist, cynical, and idle.

    students have been the vanguard of revolution for the latter half of the 20th century, but we're just falling into the hegemony of materialism now -- what a shame. the bane of rampant pre-professionalism i suppose.

    // end rant.

    • hey  

      can you lend me your SAT vocab book?

    • like  

      zomg dat is zooo troo!!! OMG dat wz XACTLY wot I woz tinking! Cudn't have sed it ne bettr!!! ur ma h3ro =)

    • maybe  

      the problem with the students of the 1960s is that they thought they were the vanguards of revolution, when everyone else was like "lol no shut up."

      exact same situation here. new school is all, "we would like to keep our building," but couch it in the rhetoric of LIBERATE THIS STUDY SPACE FOR THE COLLECTIVE ACTION OF DEMOCRACY, THAT WE MIGHT DESTROY CORPORATIZATION AND WARFARE FOREVERMORE.

      lol no. this is not the freaking bolshevik revolution. go do something useful.

  14. Sprinkles

    I'd take them more seriously if they weren't holding that "look-at-us-we're-being-soooo-revolutionary" banner.

    Just saying.

    Behave like adults and you'll get treated like adults - behave like children, and, well, you get it.

    • seriously  

      In this economy, that pic seems like a real waste of a perfectly good bedsheet and housepaint.

      If people REALLY were into the causes they think they are, they wouldn't waste resources on stupid meaningless demonstrations.

      I, for one, love the waste of resources on Papier Mache puppets at environmentalist rallies.

  15. okay Bwog  

    Have a great break. I will miss you.

  16. haha

    The vanguard? Give me a break. You read a little Hegel and Marx and you think you are ready to march the proletariat to Finland station and lead the revolution? What exactly are you rebelling against? If you had actually studied history you would know that the 60's and other decades were a highly vocal minority and nowhere near the majority. Do you laud the actions in Greece? A vocal group of highly liberal and dangerous students who are destroying their own infrastructure to make a point about a 16 year old who was getting ready to throw a bomb at police? Frankly, your problem is that you equate liberal with progressive...the more liberal the better! But, as with most things in life, a centrist attitude instead of knee-jerk reactions (talk about Marx, vanguards, blah blah blah Sparticus person) is the way to go.

  17. us columbians

    are such squares. it's absurd.

    New School ≠ art school.

    all art school students ≠ rich and/or well dressed hipsters. (there's this thing called financial aid...)

    art degree ≠ burger, I doubt that telling these students how much more money you think you'll make than them would amount to much more than making their neighbors uptown look like giant d-bags.

    I don't know much about the Kerry situation. What I heard from my friend who goes there is that he used his authority as one of three (supposedly balanced) heads of the school to take over the other two positions, more or less. Probably an over-simplified version of it.

    My point is that we can talk about this without looking like giant d-bags. Maybe.

  18. either way

    why do people on this thread have such a visceral response to activism? Full-time FACULTY voted 269-18 in favor of a no-confidence vote against Kerrey. That suggests that there is popular discontent with his policies/management, and this isn't a case of "spoiled rich art kids" protesting for the sake of protesting. Being a decorated war-hero does not excuse this, and his attempt to consolidate power should appeal against our sense of fairness and ethics. So why do people on this thread, far removed from the issue, feel the need to condemn activism that seems justified? If the tables were turned, would you stand in the way of people trying to effect change? Or are we just burned out because a group of fringe radicals at our school have given all activism, justified or not, a bad name?

  19. Policies

    the guy has NS 's entire library in storage and vacated their central academic building to build something better except he never actually had any plans drawn up or anything or got permits or whatever....and 169 full professors in a place that is about as large as Columbia in toto? it sounds like their tenure system is out of whack as well. I'm not much for student actions, but I think they are completely justified in this case-these students retain the right to have their university back under better management. By the way, most new school students aren't clamoring for the "vanguard" or whatever, they simply want to have a competent administration running the place, you know, so they can go to school and such.

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