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Support the Right to Protest and Dialogue at SUNY-Binghamton

This petition had 81 supporters

On Thursday, March 27th SUNY-Binghamton students organized as the Frances Beal Society rallied on campus in opposition to University plans to install blue-light alarm posts in areas where students reside in town. The students argued that the $200,000 per year cost would be better spent on funding student mental health services, and that initiatives in town should be designed with participation from community members. 

On arriving at the administration building, students found no senior campus representative willing to speak with them. Access to the top floor of the building, where the president’s office is located, was closed off. Police guarded all the other floors. In response, the students began a sit-in in the lobby of the building. They neither impeded staff nor prevented public access to the building.

Over the weekend, the students remained in the lobby, awaiting a response. The university did respond: on Monday, May 1st the building was officially closed. The administration had abandoned the administration building, leaving the students, whose sit-in continues as of this writing (May 5th), as the only occupants, along with the police force in and around the building. How this amounts to a reasoned response to a peaceful protest by students the administration has yet to explain.

In this matter, we urge the administration to engage seriously with students patiently waiting to meet with them. Tolerance of protest and willingness to engage in dialogue are essential academic values we should all cherish.

Signed by SUNY-Binghamton faculty:

Jeffner Allen

Nancy Appelbaum

Carol Arinder

Anne Bailey

Walden Bello

Lisa Blitz

Gisela Brinker-Gabler

Sharon A. Bryant

Ana Candela

Lubna Chaudhry

John Cheng

Robyn Cope

Frederic Deyo

Juanita Diaz-Cotto

Leslie Gates

Mary Haupt

Olivia Holmes

Gladys Jiménez-Muñoz        

Joseph A. Keith

William G. Martin

Katherine Martineau

Sean G. Massey

Nate Mathews

Randall McGuire

Monika Mehta

Giovanna Montenegro

Nkiru Nzegwu

Ravi Palat

Joshua Price

Jessie Reeder

Josh Reno

Benita Roth

Mahua Sarkar

Kelvin Santiago-Valles

Dara Silberstein

Jennifer Stoever

Joseph D. Weil

Michael O. West

Marguerite Wilson

Leo Wilton

Denise Yull


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