Students and faculty decry serious faults within Columbia University's administration
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Contact: Jamie Chen, Student Organizer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.