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April 1996


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future UVM President <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 12 Apr 1996 12:30:07 -0400 (EDT)
TEXT/PLAIN (142 lines)
Subject: Cops Arrest Columbia Protesters

>/* Written 10:17 PM  Apr 11, 1996 by bwitanek in igc:justice.polabu */
>/* ---------- "Cops Arrest Columbia Protesters" ---------- */
>Posted: Ronnie Dadone <[log in to unmask]>
> April 11, 1996
> Students Arrested at Columbia University Sit-In >
> [N] EW YORK -- Twenty-three protesters seeking
>     the creation of an ethnic studies department  at Columbia
>University were arrested Wednesday
> morning after an all-night occupation of Low
> Library, the university's central administration  building.
> Twenty-two were charged with criminal trespass
> and one with disorderly conduct, said Sgt.
> Nicholas Vreeland, a spokesman for the police
> department.
> The overnight occupation represented an
> escalation of pressure by a coalition of
> students who say the university has not made a
> serious enough commitment to add faculty and
> courses for the study of African-Americans,
> Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and American  Indians.
> This semester, students have staged a hunger
> strike, which entered its 10th day on Wednesday,  as well as
>several rallies and a sit-in in the
> office of Columbia College's dean. Three
> students are still on the hunger strike; a
> fourth quit after becoming ill.
> "We don't have any regrets," said Antonio
> Garcia, a freshman from Los Angeles who is
> majoring in political science. "This was about
> power. Now there's a real sense of urgency. The  hunger strikers
>are getting very weak."
> The protesters had met with university
> administrators about their demands, but
> dissatisfied with progress, had been seeking a
> meeting with the Columbia president, George
> Rupp. On Tuesday he agreed, but the students
> occupied the rotunda across from his office
> anyway.
> "Until they give us something, we need to stay
> here so we know they are listening," Elbert
> Garcia, a junior majoring in urban studies, told  the protesters
>in Low Library on Tuesday
> evening.
> Rupp told them he would not meet them unless
> they left the rotunda. "My sense is that there
> is a very large measure of common ground," he
> said.
> But they refused to leave.
> Those arrested Wednesday morning were part of a  group of more
>than 100 chanting protesters who
> had entered the building late Tuesday afternoon  after a rally
>outside, and others from a second  group who had come later. Most
>left the building  voluntarily when threatened with arrest.
> Columbia College, which is known for its
> long-standing core curriculum of classics,
> primarily from Western literature, has moved in  recent years to
>expand ethnic studies. It
> created an Institute for Research on
> African-American Studies and made plans to hire  new faculty in
>Asian-American studies and
> Hispanic-American studies.
> But the students have held out for a department  with hiring
>authority and a budget.
> "Only a department would give it the legitimacy  to attract great
>scholars and to develop a
> graduate program," said one protester, Jennifer  Duran, a Columbia
>junior from Holbrook, N.Y.,
> who is majoring in history.
> On Tuesday afternoon Rupp told a faculty meeting  that a committee
>had just approved a new
> Hispanic-studies major and had made progress
> toward an Asian-American studies program as
> well. Columbia already has a major in
> African-American studies.
> The president also told the faculty that a
> faculty committee interceding for the
> demonstrators had presented three points and
> that he agreed with all of them: that there must  be a critical
>mass of scholars in ethnic
> studies, a specific place for these studies and  student
>involvement in hiring faculty.
> On Wednesday the protesters celebrated the
> occupation and arrests, set plans for another
> rally in the evening and tried to set further
> strategy for achieving their goals.
> "We're happy we occupied Low Library," said
> Garcia. "Now we want to get them back to the
> bargaining table."
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>    Copyright 1996 The New York Times Company
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 21:47:14 -0400
>From: [log in to unmask]
>Hello everyone, in regard to the hunger strike, the Low Library
>protest, and the National Action for RES at large, I'd like to get
>in touch with anyone who's got a direct connection to these events.
>I'm doing a story on this for the Village Voice which needs to be
>filed by Monday. So, if anyone can give me a contact at Columbia
>(I've been in contact with Irene Shen, but I can't seem to get
>through at the moment) I'd really appreciate it.
>Either e-mail me or call me at the Voice: (212/475-3333-ext.3204)
>Edmund Lee
>Associate Editor
>The Village Voice
>Posted in [log in to unmask]
>To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse
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