#NotAgainSU ends Crouse-Hinds Occupation
By Jishnu Nair and CitrusTV Staff
The Black-led student movement #NotAgainSU ended its 31-day occupation of Crouse-Hinds Hall on Tuesday, according to a tweet from the movement’s page. Their occupation followed a previous sit-in at the Barnes Center in November 2019.
“This movement is not over but this chapter of the Crouse-Hinds occupation is,” the organization wrote on Twitter.
After 31 eventful days #NotAgainSU has begun the process of ending the occupation of Crouse-Hinds Hall. As of this morning we were able to secure a virtual meeting with the administration in the near future in order to solidify the commitments they made in negotiations. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/DuCGTWMVZD
— #NOTAGAINSU (@notagain_su) March 19, 2020
#NotAgainSU said that they had secured a virtual meeting with university administration to have a “digitally signed binding document” to secure the changes they demanded to university policy. The full list of policy demands was released in February.
During the month-long occupation, protesters clashed verbally with administration and Department of Public Safety officers over access to food and DPS’ rights to armament. Syracuse University officials later admitted over the course of negotiations that they had denied food access to Crouse-Hinds, where administration offices are located.
The movement received support from staff and faculty members, including over 150 teaching assistants who went on strike in solidarity with #NotAgainSU. The Faculty Action Collective organized a class walk-out on March 5th. Over 70 faculty members participated in the walk-out.
Syracuse University administration met with protesters on several occasions but did not concede to their demands. Protesters criticized the administration’s unwillingness to apologize in writing for starving students or that the university enables “a culture of white supremacy.”
University officials released a statement March 10 agreeing to a number of demands, but refusing several including the disarmament of DPS and several resignations including those of Chancellor Kent Syverud and DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado. The statement was criticized by protesters and SU faculty on social media for the refusals and for the lack of tangible progress on certain initiatives, including the hiring of counselors at the Barnes Center for the Arch.
The conclusion of the Crouse-Hinds occupancy follows the university’s announcement on Monday that residential or face-to-face instruction is suspended for the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students across campus have been encouraged to vacate university housing and on-campus activities and clubs have been canceled.