Syracuse University's Chancellor Steps-in to Support Student Protestors, Calls for Compassion

Feb 20, 2020

File photo: Chancellor Kent Syverud delivering his Winter Message last month.
Credit WAER News

Syracuse University’s Chancellor wants to start with compassion in dealing with 23 student protestors who have remained in an administrative building after hours this week following the racist and antisemitic and hate incidents that have occurred since last fall on campus. 

Kent Syverud addressed the University Senate Wednesday and says he made the decision after listening. 

The students now there can stay there (Crouse-Hinds Hall).  I have directed arrangements for ensuring they are fed and cared for.  I am also directing that interim suspension be lifted and the suspension procedure be stopped while we all step back. I am doing these things because I have been listening to many people in the last 24 hours, including many senators, many students, many faculty and many alumni. You don’t all agree. That is an understatement. This is Syracuse. But after thinking hard about the many differing opinions that have been advanced to me in various ways, I have concluded that we can move forward productively by starting with compassion for our students and with de-escalation.”

He says the students have the right to free speech and they’re frustrated that perpetrators behind the incidents on campus have not all been found and identified.  The Chancellor says he’s angry and shares their frustration… and reassures that some have been found and punished, including with suspensions.  He’s calling on everyone to extend compassion for the student protestors and with de-escalation to move forward so as not to jeopardize the progress the university has made since November.

“There has been progress since November. The steps so many have helped take are documented on and shared regularly via many channels. We are fighting incidents of hate that are now becoming common on many campuses around our country.”

To read the Chancellor's full remarks to the University Senate on Wednesday click here.  Crouse Hinds-Hall is back to standard hours of operations as of today and is open until 5 PM.  Anyone with card access can still enter the building outside of standard operating hours.  Students are being allowed to stay beyond closed hours but, if they leave during those hours, they won't be allowed back in until the building officially re-opens the next day.