Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud (pictured) has lifted the interim suspensions levied against student protesters who staged a sit-in at its main administration building.
According to the Daily Orange, during an emotional University Senate meeting on Wednesday (February 19), Syverud announced his decision as students and faculty demanded that he and other administrators handle demonstrations better.
“These students are afraid they will be arrested,” Syverud said. “Enough. I am not going to let students be arrested and forced out.”
Syverud said that members of the Black student-run protest group #NotAgainSU can remain in Crouse-Hinds Hall and that he has directed the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to drop its pending conduct cases against them. The OSRR had accused the group’s organizers of violating the school’s Campus Disruption policy on Monday night.
“Some of the students in Crouse-Hinds Hall are seniors,” said Syverud. “We should all want them to be able to go to class and graduate. I want that. I want us all to remember that as a starting point.”
The chancellor added that his “discretion” can only go so far and that violations of the Campus Disruption Policy should be adjusted through the Code of Student Conduct system.
That said, those adjustments won’t happen immediately.
“I believe we should give more time to this process,” he said.
More than 30 students were reportedly suspended for violating the school’s campus disruption policy on Tuesday morning (February 18) for staying in Crouse-Hinds after its closing at 9 p.m, the Daily Orange reported Tuesday.
They were reacting to the university’s response to more than two dozen racist and anti-Semetic occurrences that took place at Syracuse since November. They are also calling for the resignation of four top SU officials.
Photo by Marc Flores/Getty Images for Syracuse University