Graduate Students

New School Protesters Claim Victory and End Campus Occupation

December 19, 2008

Student protesters at the New School claimed to have won a decisive victory last night in their battle with university officials and ended their occupation of a campus cafeteria at around 3:30 a.m., The New York Times’s City Room blog reported today.

The students had presented university officials with a list of demands, including the resignation of the New School’s president, Bob Kerrey, and had threatened to continue their occupation of campus buildings for a second full night.

Mr. Kerrey has not resigned, but he agreed to several of the students’ demands, including “total amnesty” for all the protesters, according to the text of an agreement posted by the students.

Mr. Kerrey has been under growing pressure over the past two weeks from students and from faculty members, who voted no confidence in his leadership. That move was prompted by news of the abrupt departure of the school’s provost and the announcement that Mr. Kerrey himself would fill the office on a temporary basis.

The agreement between Mr. Kerrey and the student protesters says that “students will have voting representation on the search committee for the interim-provost and the provost, as well as any searches that may take place in the future for a new president.” —Aisha Labi