The New School Free Press: All-City Student Occupation

NSFP's Continuing Coverage of All-City Occupation at The New School and Student Demonstrations in New York City

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  1. IMPORTANT: The New School Free Press is attempting to cover events relating to student protests around the city, including the all-city student occupation at 90 Fifth Avenue, with the utmost accuracy and immediacy. Due to the rapidly-developing nature of the story, and the continuous flow of information we are receiving, we are doing our best to ensure our coverage is as accurate as possible. Any necessary corrections to the information we are providing will be made in a quick and timely manner.
  2. UPDATE 5:39PM: NSFP reporters inside the Board of Trustees meeting at Baruch College have confirmed that tuition increases for the CUNY system have passed.

  3. UPDATE 4:30 PM: At Baruch College, a Board of Trustees meeting has begun. The Board is going to vote today on whether or not to raise tuition for CUNY students. 

    Minutes into the meeting, a CUNY professor named Bill, who has been a professor for 41 years, approached the Board and addressed them.

    "The Board owes an apology for what happened to the students last week," he said.

    He was escorted out of the conference room by security.

    About 100 students have been let into the meeting to watch, but are separated from the Board by a black rope.

    "We seem like the audience watching a performance," observed Chung. 

    Prior to entering the conference room where the meeting is taking place, students had to pass through a security checkpoint and dispose of all liquids.


    Stephany Chung and Danielle Balbi are reporting.
  4. Below: The students' view of the Board of Trustees meeting at Baruch College.
  5. UPDATE 3:55PM: The University Student Senate hosted town hall meeting addressing the future of the Kellen Gallery concluded after two hours of discussion and without a resolution as to what to do with the space. The event, at times, drew a crowd of over 100 students, faculty, and staff who voiced their opinions of the past week’s occupation and proposed methods for moving forward – some suggesting that Kellen return to its normal use as a gallery, and others in favor of a student-run organizing space. Although it remains unclear as to how a decision on the space will be reached, USS Co-Chair Melissa Holmes announced that the senate would send an email to the university community addressing the issue in a matter of hours.
  6. UPDATE 11/27: CLEANUP UNDERWAY AT KELLEN GALLERY

    A small group of students and staff are currently cleaning and "reclaiming" Kellen Gallery, which was vandalized late Thursday night and has since been closed. It is still unclear who did the damage to Kellen; while many suspect the occupiers of 90 Fifth Avenue, this has yet to be confirmed. 

    The university is still discussing what to do with the gallery. Tomorrow at noon, the University Student Senate, in conjunction with the administration and faculty, will be holding a Town Hall meeting in Kellen to discuss the possibilites. During the cleanup, student volunteers and Kellen staff, many student themselves, expressed different opinions: while some want Kellen to return to its normal usage, others hope that the administration will allow it to become a space for student dialogue and activism. 

    "The school needs to give students an autonomous space," said Radhika Subramaniam, the curator of Kellen Gallery who helped coordinate today's cleanup effort. "Whether or not that space is going to be this gallery is an open question." 

    The fact that the Kellen staff had to close an exhibition to accommodate the occupiers didn't bother Subramaniam, she said. But many of her co-workers were upset about it, and they were especially upset by the unsavory words that had been sprayed all over the walls of Kellen.

    "We put hard work into keeping this place clean, and it was destroyed in 48 hours," said Adam Rodriguez, a senior at Parsons who has worked at Kellen for two and a half years. "Where was the common sense in the decision to move the occupation here? If they trashed the other place, it was also going to happen here." 

    But many people, though upset about the damage done to Kellen, hoped that the space would be used for students to have discussions, engage, and organize. 

    "I'd love to see a real, safe political space here, where we can plan actions and talk," said Michael, a student at Milano who didn't give his last name. "I'd like to see this as a hub of political organizing."

    As students and Kellen staff scrubbed graffiti off of the walls and then proceeded to paint over the marks left behind, they hoped that, if the school does let occupiers return to Kellen, they won't damage the gallery again. 

    "You have the right to voice your opinions, but be considerate," said Jacqueline Hon, a graduate of Parsons who has worked at the gallery for almost three years. "Keep the walls white next time."

    Filed by Kimberly Lightbody. Reporting by Andrea Vocos. 
  7. UPDATE 12:30 PM: The occupiers at 90 Fifth Avenue, a few hours after releasing a statement in which they said they were determined to defend the space against police, voluntarily vacated the building early this morning. 

    "The occupiers were not removed," said New School Director of Communications Peter Taback. "The occupiers left on their own at some point during the night."

    After leaving 90 Fifth Avenue, some of the occupiers went to Kellen Gallery and put graffiti on the walls, said Taback. This morning, about five people were still in Kellen Gallery; President Van Zandt and Provost Marshall went over there and asked them to leave. 

    Currently, both the Student Study Center and Kellen Gallery are closed. The university is trying to clean them and paint over the graffiti so that both can be open to students on Monday morning. While the Student Study Center is going to revert to its normal use, said Taback, the university is in discussions about what to do with Kellen.

    "Faculty and the administration are meeting right now to talk about steps, so that the conversation can continue without it being an environment unwelcome to New School students," said Taback.

  8. UPDATE 11/25: Occupiers Anticipate NYPD Raid at 90 Fifth Avenue on Friday Morning
    The occupiers refusing to leave 90 Fifth Avenue have released a statement saying they have received information that the NYPD will raid 90 Fifth Avenue in the "early morning hours" Friday. The statement says the occupiers are preparing for the raid and have "chosen to barricade all entrances to this space and will defend it by all means available to us." New School officials could not be reached to confirm or deny the occupiers' claims, but we will provide any updates we receive on the situation. Read the statement here.

  9. 11/23 ROUNDUP UPDATED 2:45PM: Kimberly Lightbody Reports Rising Tensions as a Division Emerges within the Occupation. Some Occupiers Moving to Kellen Gallery and Others Remaining at 90 Fifth Avenue, which President David Van Zandt is Struggling to Vacate as Soon as Possible. Click here for story.

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