Feb

19

Revolution! (but No Negative Consequences, Please)

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 Photo Courtesy of NYU Local

The Columbia Students for a Democratic Society, who used to know a thing or two about campus protest, just sent out a press release from Take Back NYU, the pro-Gaza-ish, Marxist-y group that took over Kimmel Hall last night.

Their first demand? They request, “full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation.” Style tip for radical, leftist protests: Don’t mention yourself until the end.

According to the New York Times and NYU Local, the protest started with around 70 students and has dwindled to less than fifty. The Times posited that only half the students are native NYUers and many New School students, apparently addicted to building occupation, are among the crowd. Full press release after the jump.

-DJB



****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

DEMANDS

We, the students of NYU, declare an occupation of this space. This occupation is the culmination of a two-year campaign by the Take Back NYU! coalition, and of campaigns from years past, in whose footsteps we follow.

In order to create a more accountable, democratic and socially responsible university, we demand the following:

1.    Full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation.

2.    Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.

3.    Public release of NYU’s annual operating budget, including a full list of university expenditures, salaries for all employees compensated on a semester or annual basis, funds allocated for staff wages, contracts to non-university organizations for university construction and services, financial aid data for each college, and money allocated to each college, department, and administrative unit of the university. Furthermore, this should include a full disclosure of the amount and sources of the university’s funding.

4.    Disclosure of NYU’s endowment holdings, investment strategy, projected endowment growth, and persons, corporations and firms involved in the investment of the university’s endowment funds. Additionally, we demand an endowment oversight body of students, faculty and staff who exercise shareholder proxy voting power for the university’s investments.

5.    That the NYU Administration agrees to resume negotiations with GSOC/UAW Local 2110 � the union for NYU graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and research assistants. That NYU publically affirm its commitment to respect all its workers, including student employees, by recognizing their right to form unions and to bargain collectively. That NYU publically affirm that it will recognize workers’ unions through majority card verification.

6.    That NYU signs a contract guaranteeing fair labor practices for all NYU employees at home and abroad. This contract will extend to subcontracted workers, including bus drivers, food service employees and anyone involved in the construction, operation and maintenance at any of NYU’s non-U.S. sites.

7.    The establishment of a student elected Socially Responsible Finance Committee. This Committee will have full power to vote on proxies, draft shareholder resolutions, screen all university investments, establish new programs that encourage social and environmental responsibility and override all financial decisions the committee deems socially irresponsible, including investment decisions. The committee will be composed of two subcommittees: one to assess the operating budget and one to assess the endowment holdings. Each committee will be composed of ten students democratically elected from the graduate and under-graduate student bodies. All committee decisions will be made a strict majority vote, and will be upheld by the university. All members of the Socially Responsible Finance Committee will sit on the board of trustees, and will have equal voting rights. All Socially Responsible Finance Committee and Trustee meetings shall be open to the public, and their minutes made accessible electronically through NYU’s website. Elections will be held the second Tuesday of every March beginning March 10th 2009, and meetings will be held biweekly beginning the week of March 30th 2009.

8.    That the first two orders of business of the Socially Responsible Finance committee will be:

a) An in depth investigation of all investments in war and genocide profiteers, as well as companies profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territories.

b) A reassessment of the recently lifted of the ban on Coca Cola products.

9.    That annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students, starting with the 2009/2010 academic year. These scholarships will include funding for books, housing, meals and travel expenses.

10.    That the university donate all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.

11.    Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. All students will pay their initial tuition rate throughout the course of their education at New York University.  Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation, nor shall they exceed one percent. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.

12.    That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.

13.    That the general public have access to Bobst Library.

Along with this, students have issued a SOLIDARITY STATEMENT

We, the students of Take Back NYU! declare our solidarity with the student [sleepovers] in Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as those of the University of Rochester, the New School for Social Research, and with future

[sleepovers] to come in the name of democracy and student power. We stand

in solidarity with the University of Gaza, and with the people of Palestine.

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35 Comments

  1. lol  

    the new sds is retarded lol... they've become a charicature of their old self

  2. the NYU admin:  

    “We’ll be trying to clarify the exact nature of their complaints,” Ms. Brown said, “and try to engage them in colloquy and conversation. It’s a little unclear for us now.”

    LMFAO?

    some students are so protest-happy

  3. expel them  

    then arrest them.

    • well...  

      although this list of demands is extraordinarily haphazard and all over the place, three and four sound like a great starting place, especially for NYU. it'd be nice to see how much that university is spending on buying all of downtown, instead of providing financial aid.

      but come on, the struggle within protest is a highly specific struggle. pick one demand at a time and negotiate (emphasis on one and negotiating - protest is not winner take all)

  4. confused  

    so Columbia SDS sent out a press release for the NYU thing? that's how the first sentence reads

  5. Oh please  

    "all excess resources to the University of Gaza"... what?

    These guys need someone to smack sense into them- hard.

  6. go addiction!  

    item number one on compromise with admins: but where will will smoke our cigarettes?!

  7. They aren't retarded.  

    They have legitimate concerns. They state a bunch of them, negotiate and get only a certain amount...for instance I doubt they actually expect to have all excess resources go to the University of Gaza. However, it is a) a sign of solidarity (however unfortunately feeble) and b) a way to show the broad range of concerns that people have with the university. They have real concerns with NYU's administration, and this is a way to highlight them to what is otherwise a very non-responsive bureaucracy.

  8. prole

    how about a shred of objecivity:
    'started at 70 and dwindled to below 50'...the only comment on the demands is to allege self-indulgence of demanding amnesty? bwogs political coverage so far this semester overall has been a reactionary appeal to the smug, apathetic, and status-quo obsessed wing of wall st-bound columbia undergrads. cmon bwog, grow some balls

    • while

      i support a revolution for justified reasons, this is just alot of random bullshit.

      the fact that a third left to go to work or class indicates how important this protest really is to them. this sounds more like a slumber party.

    • hmm

      Bwog, then, has to choose between being reactionary and being uncritically radical? The fact that the first demand is about amnesty does seem self-indulgent--the form of the protest (and its safeness) take on more importance than its actual content, and the actual content is confused: trying to tie in financial transparency and socially responsible use of the university's funds with Gaza? Activism needs focus and clarity, and the maybe-sorta democratic Trotskyism of this occupation is anything but.

    • bwog is just  

      mean to everyone. Bwog makes me sad.

  9. FYI BWOG  

    Both EC elevators seem to be out of service. Lots of huffing and puffing as out of shape Columbians have to make use of the stairwells

  10. well  

    What I wonder about is why they included support for anti-Israeli building takeovers in England when their other goals are totally unrelated.

    Tying about ten different and unrelated struggles together is a great way to alienate everyone.

  11. bwog realizes

    that Columbia and world is full of idiots...good thing someone realizes it.

  12. you!  

    bwog is douchey and hides behind a wall of apathy and criticism so as not to offend all the apathetic shit-head kids that go here and dream of wall street and hot wives who don't speak and give great blow-jobs. hopefully the financial crisis is quickly crushing your dreams and you will soon wake up to the fact that the world is a place of privilege for only the few, and if one of us is oppressed, we are all oppressed.

    • yes  

      i totally agree.
      i sometimes wonder where these people who leave comments are? certainly every time i step out of my room (do most of these commenters even do this?) i don't encounter people who are so bitterly angry at the world and have something negative and rude to say about everything and everyone. who are these people? are they just holed up in their rooms and taking out their social anxiety issues on everyone that bwog ever writes about? seriously. these people need some therapy. its just sad seeing these depressed, socially inept college students so angry at the people around them.

    • Wall Street Type

      #19 has it exactly right!
      As a white Columbia econ major, I can tell you that nothing makes me happier than to get a kiss-less blowjob from my bimbo girlfriend, while reading the Wall Street Journal and shooting minorities for sport!
      Obviously I can't sympathize with these peoples' struggle, because you know, the fact that I'm white automatically means that I am privileged, and I just need to trust that a bunch of humanities majors who flunked out of 10th grade math know how to run society better than anyone actually educated in economics, politics or the sciences!
      I fucking hate these anthro-major/women's/ethnic studies bullshit. When will these people realize that it is because of the productive parts of our "evil capitalist" economy that they are even able to spend $50,000 a year of their parents money to foment their stupid revolutions.

      • how  

        hypocritical. you complain about a stereotype being placed on "wall street types", but then stereotype humanities majors (everyone who majors in humanities failed math in high school, doesn't know anything about economics, politics or the sciences, and does nothing but call capitalism "evil"?! wow.. how insightful!)
        nice going, you've done a great job of making a fool of yourself. next time you complain about someone "stereotyping" you, try not to ignorantly stereotype others at the same time.

  13. these people

    are a disgrace to indie bros everywhere

  14. Hmm  

    Let's give 20 ridic anthro majors the right to direct a university's finances! These people have brains like fudge, and enough self-righteousness to kill a horse.

  15. VAGINA  

    I have anal beads stuck in my vag and don't know what to do...

    I feel like I should first have a mass protest in Lerner and then hold a candle-light vigil for my clitoris (her name is Brenda).

  16. Again?  

    NYU's Administration should just largely ignore this little tantrum and stick a sign on the doors to Kimmel reading, "To Our Other 50,000 Students: We regret to inform you that a number of your classmates have cordoned off this area for foot-stomping purposes and that your cafeteria will be inaccessible until further notice. We apologize on their behalf for the inconvenience."

  17. RALLY  

    at midnight, for those of you who DO care, nyu is threatening students with expulsion if they're not out by 1am, and we need as many people outside supporting as possible

  18. IF only...

    If they only took out the explicit Gaza support, the administration would be infinitely more receptive to negotiation.

  19. Anonymous  

    specifically for Palestinian students? right, because as we all know, palestinians are among the ONLY people in the world without adequate educational opportunities? sound like ethnic discrimination much?

    hey, here's an idea: let's start at home!
    how about giving these "scholarships" to needy students, say RIGHT DOWN THE STREET from NYU's million dollar properties? sound crazy? well, that's because it's just so much easier to care about people living 5000 miles away than to care for those right next door.

  20. ...  

    hahahahahahaha! they want specific salary data!

  21. mcbainer  

    er, did anyone here the crashing noises from the shaft? did somebody fall out a window or something?

  22. aasd

    what poor pieces of shit.

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