New School occupation ends in victory

 
At approximately 3 a.m, students ended their occupation of New School University and declared victory in ongoing negotiations with university administration. While president Kerry has not been ousted, he has been forced to agree to a wide range of demands bringing greater student democracy and transparency to the functioning of the New School.

Agreement with New School President Bob Kerrey

1) I agree to grant total amnesty for all participants involved in the occupation and all events related to it over the course of 12/17/08 through 12/19/08 at all New School Buildings. Neither criminal charges nor academic disciplinary measures will be pursued against those involved. The University will not press charges against Eliot Liu.

Agreed.

Staff and security guards will be compensated for all time lost over the course of the occupation.

This is not necessary. They have been compensated.

2) I agree that students may use the GF building at 65 Fifth Ave until a suitable replacement is secured and instituted, which would include the re-installment of suitable library and study space. This would need to be approved by the USS.

Due to my limitation under the board, and because of repeated and voiced student concern about the university's investments, this is already underway for alternative space. I guarantee that by the beginning of spring semester I will provide new library space in Arnold hall. I will also provide 7000 feet of quiet study space at Sheila Johnson galleries by the end of spring semester. I agree to meet with the students to discuss the current plans, alternatives, and financial planning.

3) I agree that students will have voting representation on the search committee for the interim-Provost and the Provost, as well as any searches that may take place in the future for a new President. The details of this will be worked out with representatives of the University Student Senate, and input from the student body at large.

Agreed.

4) I agree for student participation to establish a committee on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for the University's endowment and that this committee will then establish an independent auditing process with the SRI framework. The committee to establish the SRI will meet by the first week of April, 2009.

Due to being limited by the board, and because of repeated and voiced student concern about the university's investments, I will urge my investment committee to establish such a committee with student involvement.

5) I agree to grant the University Student Senate the ability to communicate with the student body freely and without constraint (and to not restrict their access to Groupwise email and other technologies that enable this).

I agree with the greater autonomy of the university student senate with the stipulation that the email use does not violate federal law for the distribution of materials or FERPA regulations. I guarantee that I will immediately provide the university student senate with the tools necessary to have fluid communication, in particular with reference to groupwise email, with the student body.

6) I agree that a representative of the USS should be allowed to have a representative at meetings of the Board of Trustees in order to speak to specific issues that pertain to decisions passed by the USS or directly relating to USS business.

I have already asked the chairman of the trustees to consider adding a student and a faculty member to the boards in this capacity. I have agreed to ask the board to do this.

Signed,
Bob Kerrey
12/19/08

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