Ethnic Studies with professors and hiring power
Major Cultures with classes on colonialism and race
responsibly through community input
Increase administrative support

This is what we are fighting for. Support the strike & sign the petition. Contact us at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Press Release: Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Students and faculty decry serious faults within Columbia University's administration
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Contact: Jamie Chen, Student Organizer,, 240.305.7628

After Columbia University administrators refused to meet negotiators over the weekend despite an ongoing hunger strike, students sat down with Columbia University administrators Monday evening at 6pm. This meeting addressed the demands issued by an ad hoc coalition of students calling for a change in the way the university deals with issues of race and marginalization. The administration's offers echoed conciliatory language of past negotiations that often failed to resolve the crux of students' grievances. Students will continue to meet daily with administrators until a compromise on the demands is reached.

A Statement of Concern from the Columbia University Faculty Action Committee was publicized on Monday evening as well, directly accusing President Bollinger of failing to uphold core university principles (but not mentioning the strike directly). The statement was signed by 70 faculty members, including such scholarly notables as Eric Foner, Mahmood Mamdani, and Nicholas De Genova.

The coalition of students demanding change includes four students who are beginning the seventh day of a hunger strike, undertaken to emphasize the urgency and import of these demands. Spurred by a slew of hate crimes on campus this semester and years of unproductive meetings with administrators, the coalition issued its demands on October 30, 2007, asking for more faculty support for ethnic studies, an ethical expansion into West Harlem by the university, reform of the Core Curriculum to address the marginalization of nonwhite peoples within the West, and a stronger Office of Multicultural Affairs that covers all undergraduate students. Many demands have been fought for in protests of earlier years.

Campus student groups including the Muslim Students' Association, the Black Students' Organization, and Take Back the Night have announced their support of the strike and the demands. A rally on Saturday afternoon drew about 200 students and community members, condemning Columbia's reluctance to address the critical needs of students and the community alike.

Professor of Political Science at Barnard Dennis Dalton has been fasting since last Thursday in an act of solidarity with the student hunger strikers and to push for the demands to be met. Professors from Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER), the Department of Anthropology, Barnard's Department of Political Science, and the Department of Comparative Literature, as well as professors from other universities have issued statements of solidarity with the demands of the strike and supporters.

Aretha Choi, a Barnard College sophomore, was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital on Saturday evening. She will not continue her hunger strike for medical reasons.

Students continue to meet every night at 9pm at the Sundial on W. 116th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam to show their support for the strikers.