NYU Protest Calls To Take Back NYU

Armen Hareyan's picture

NYU protests already continue the second day as the student protesters of the New York University call to take Back NYU. Last night there was a little clash between the protesters and the Police after the protest turned slightly violent as the students rushed the guard. According to the latest reports the NYU Administration has agreed to negotiate.

The latest news is that the internet is shut down in the occupied Kimmel building and fellow students are blogging on behalf of the students who are inside the building. Take Back NYU had a life streaming video from inside on it's site, but it's off the air right now. We assume that it's due to the internet being shut down in the building.

The story highlights including the following points.

* Why NYU protesters occupied the building?
* What are the demands
* Negotiation talks between "Take Back NYU and the administration."

Take Back NYU in its own words:

"After a two-year campaign of letter-writing, tabling, flyering, educational events, and even electing a member onto the Student Senate, Take Back NYU! decided to occupy the 3rd floor dining hall in Kimmel."

Take Back NYU demands for occupation:

1. Amnesty for all parties involved.
2. Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.
3. Public release of NYU’s annual budget and endowment.
4. Allow student workers (including T.A.’s) to collectively bargain.
5. A fair labor contract for all NYU employees at home and abroad.
6. A Socially Responsible Finance Committee that will immediately investigate war profiteers and the lifting of the Coke ban.
7. Annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students.
8. That the university donates all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.
9. Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.
10. That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.
11. That the general public have access to Bobst Library.

Take Back NYU General Demands

Over the course of the past few years, New York University has undertaken a series of radical changes that transformed our school into a global institution with a high-profile presence in our local community. In the course of these changes, community members and students have expressed their concerns about many of the university’s policies, particularly NYU’s reluctance to share information about its finances and decision-making processes. As students with a vision of NYU as a progressive, prestigious global university, Take Back NYU! calls on the administration to undertake the following policies to affirm NYU’s commitment to accountability and institutional democracy:

1. The inclusion of an elected representative from the student body in New York University’s (NYU) Board of Trustee meetings. This representative should have rights, including voting rights, equal to that of Trustees, as well as the authorization to make public statements on the operations of the Board of Trustees without prior approval from any administration official.
2. 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.
3. 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.

As President John Sexton has publicly acknowledged, NYU’s high-profile transformation puts a strain on the university’s finances. We believe that a culture of accountability and transparency builds faith in the university’s administration in a way that encourages alumni to renew their financial commitment to NYU. Similarly, by fostering student empowerment, these policies will revive students’ enthusiasm for NYU as an institution, thus attracting more students and furthering NYU’s prestige.

Most importantly, disclosure further builds faith in NYU as a progressive university in the public service by opening a genuine dialogue with students, community members and others about the state of our university. Ultimately, students provide the intellectual and creative energy that make NYU the university it is today, and we have the most at stake when decisions are made that shape our school.

Word about negotiations

"We have just gotten word from our student representatives that NYU ADMINISTRATION HAS AGREED TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS!!!

We will update you as soon as we finish the first round of negotiations. Thank you again to the tireless supporters outside, some of whom have been out in the cold all day today and last night - we love you so very much, and we could never have accomplished this. You are all amazing."

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