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Syracuse University Students Renew Calls For Officials To Resign

Since November, student activists have accused Syracuse University officials of not doing enough to tackle racism on campus.
Posted at 8:01 PM, Feb 19, 2020

Syracuse University students are once again calling for the resignation of school officials over a series of racist and bias-related events that reportedly continue to occur on campus.

#NotAgainSU, a movement led by black students, began occupying a classroom building on Monday in protest of what organizers say is a lack of accountability from university officials. Organizers said the occupation was not triggered by any one incident but was a "necessary response" to the university's "failure to address and denounce" prejudice on campus.

In response, university officials shut down the building and temporarily suspended some students for staying in the building after it closed. But Chancellor Kent Syverud — one of the officials facing calls for resignation — said the suspensions would be rescinded.

He said: "The building is now closed. The students now there can stay there. I have directed arrangements for ensuring they are fed and cared for."

Discussions between university officials and organizers were ongoing as of Wednesday. However, organizers have accused the administration of not engaging them in good faith. They cite incidents this week in which campus security reportedly refused protesters access to food and toiletries. And they have set Friday as the deadline for the officials to resign.

The #NotAgainSU movement started in November in response to at least 26 bias-related incidents at or around Syracuse University. Activists occupied a campus wellness center for eight days and presented school officials with 19 demands they said would improve safety and diversity on campus.

Administrators say the university has taken numerous steps since then to address student concerns, including mandated diversity training, increased security, and a revised student code to address hate speech. But one #NotAgainSU organizer told Newsy on Wednesday that many students still feel unsafe and discriminated against.