As the occupation continues at Cooper Union, a new action has propped up further down the Eastern seaboard — students and faculty at Emory University are currently sitting in to protest what activists call “devastating” cuts to academic programs. From a statement released yesterday:
“These cuts, which are occurring against the backdrop of a budget surplus and a $105-million growth in the school’s $5.4 billion endowment, include the total elimination of Emory’s renowned Division of Educational Studies, the Institute for Liberal Arts, Journalism, and more. … These cuts were enacted in secret, without any pretense of systematic or transparent review, and in direct defiance of Emory’s own governance protocols. Moreover, the administration’s own data reveals that these cuts have a grossly disproportionate impact on minorities and women. …
“The Emory community has had enough. … Time and again, the University has doubled-down on the cuts without engaging in any candor whatsoever about its decision-making processes – leaving Emory community members with no other option than to see their leaders’ actions as the products of racism, sexism, cronyism, and greed. …
“Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4th, Emory will see its first campus-wide work stoppage and walkout in forty years. Students, faculty, and staff from both affected departments and others standing in solidarity with them will converge on the quad to voice their outrage and demand answers. … Tuesday’s action represents a pivotal moment in the history of Emory.”
At the time of this writing (4:30 pm Eastern) students and faculty have been occupying the hallway outside of Emory president’s office for several hours. Six demonstrators are meeting with the president, and have been for some time. Local media reports that some 150 students are participating in the action. Arrests have reportedly been threatened, but have not yet taken place.
More as the situation develops.
7:30 pm | The occupiers left the building voluntarily after representatives held a lengthy meeting with the college president. Though police locked down the occupation site at one point in the early evening, there were no arrests and the occupiers apparently face no legal or disciplinary sanctions. Reports on Twitter say that the president has committed to a future meeting with the demonstrators, but the specifics of what was agreed to have not yet been made public.