SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The doors of Crouse Hinds Hall were opened on Thursday for the first time since #NotAgainSU protestors started occupying the building earlier in the week. Students are now able to go and leave whenever they want. The change comes after Chancellor Kent Syverud made an announcement Wednesday night in an address to the University Senate.
“I am not going to let students be arrested and get forced out of Crouse Hinds Hall,” Syverud said. “I have directed arrangements for ensuring they are fed and cared for. I am also directing for the interim suspensions to be lifted.”
The university suspended 30 students on Monday for not leaving Crouse Hinds Hall when the building closed. That suspension has since been lifted.
With the doors open, more students have set up inside of the hall, covering the majority of the first level. They are free to continue their protests.
“We cannot move forward productively unless we start with compassion for our students and de-escalation,” Syverud said. “I am taking these first steps. I hope all of us, all of our community will model this as well.”
The decision to open the doors comes after a very stressful week for students and faculty. Many people, including Newhouse Professor Tula Goenka, were not pleased with how the university handled the situation.
“I am extremely distressed, angry, upset at the way the administration has treated this protest,” Goenka said. “This is extremely cruel and extremely inhumane.”
Staff and other protestors claim they were racially profiled by university authorities when trying to enter the building. The protestors inside of Crouse Hinds Hall were afraid of being arrested by Syracuse police.
#NotAgainSU is continuing its protests from December, when it occupied the Barnes Center. The group has come out with an extended list of demands with its new protest. The demands include:
- Disarming DPS officers
- Freezing tuition increases
- Identifying the people who did the biased incidents last semester
- SU taking responsibility for the issues occurring on campus
#NotAgainSU plans on continuing to occupy the building until they get what they are asking for.