Dated November 3rd, 2013
To all members of The New School and City University of New York communities,
We wish to express our deepest sentiments of concern at the current actions undertaken by City University of New York (CUNY) administration and the direction they appear to be steering our fellow NYC university.
On the morning of October 20th, without any warning to the students or student organizations, police and CUNY officials shut down the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community and Student Center on the third floor of the North Academic Center building on the City College of New York (CCNY) campus. Since 1989, this beloved center has served as a hub for campus organizing and political activism, which acted as a student group meeting space; a study center; a community center for programs like book and farm shares; and a safe space for both CCNY students and the larger Harlem community.
The without warning move by the CUNY administration to shut down the Morales/Shakur center can only be viewed as an act to repress student dissent on campus. The waves of authoritarian repression visited on CCNY students and faculty by the administration as they have continued to heroically protest this move, which has gone as far as suspending leading organizers, must be also be denounced. Furthermore, the recent moves by the CUNY administration to drastically raise tuition and attempt to appoint former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus as a visiting professor, can only be seen in the larger context of the further militarization and neoliberal restructuring of our universities.
Our struggles are one. At The New School we have also fought for and won more adequate student community spaces, as well as our ongoing struggle against rising tuition costs. We stand in full solidarity with the CUNY and CCNY community in their fight to reclaim the Morales/Shakur Center. We encourage all CUNY and The New School students to lend their hand and join these protests to the best of their ability. Together, as all NYC students, we can stand up to the forces of repression and austerity and for a world that guarantees a just and free higher education for all.
The New School University Student Senate