Return the Morales/Skakur Community Center

Petition Closed

Return the Morales/Skakur Community Center

This petition had 789 supporters
Mel Niere started this petition to President of the City College of New York Lisa Coico and

Melody Niere, President, Undergraduate Student Government (USG)

Mohammed Alam, Executive Vice President, USG

Ramdat Singh, Vice President of University Affairs, USG

 

Whereas, under Art II, § 2(d) The City College of New York Shared Governance Plan states the Undergraduate Student Government’s (USG’s) Committee on Campus Affairs “shall keep under continuous review all matters having to do with out-of-class activities and facilities”; 

Whereas, the current Administration of The City College of New York willfully and intentionally avoided and prevented any discussion or review of the usage of space and facilities with regard to the recent sudden and unannounced seizure and annexation of the Morales Shakur Community Center (MSCC), as well as the seizure and confiscation of personal items and effects belonging to students who had every reason to believe that they could continue to use that space;

Whereas, students both current and past continuously use the MSCC to coordinate providing valuable and meaningful resources to the City College and Harlem community such as low cost textbooks, mentoring services, soup kitchens, access to healthy foods, and other well and good uses too numerous to mention here;

Whereas, students both current and past use the MSCC as an out-of-class facility for many City College clubs and organization, as well as a place to host studying and tutoring efforts; 

Whereas, students both current and past use the MSCC as a “safe place” for student expression, activism, and self-identification;

Whereas, students both current and past benefit from the mere availability of the MSCC as a meaningful asset for students who are otherwise marginalized, bullied, or singled out for unwanted attention, for things such as their ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or gender preference;

Whereas, students both current and past use the MSCC to connect The City College of New York, its students, its faculty, and its campus to the larger communities in Harlem, Washington Heights, and areas of New York that have limited alternative options apart from the students of the MSCC;

Whereas, the MSCC is a historic symbol for students of the City College of New York, representing the struggles of open admission in CUNY, fights against tuition hikes, and ongoing efforts to maintain an open dialogue on administrative issues between students, faculty, and administrators;

Whereas, the Administration of The City College of New York has seen fit to unilaterally seize and annex the room occupied by the MSCC, thereby effectively removing the MSCC from its established location so as to ostensibly make room for a new Career and Professional Development Institute within the same room, thereby removing and seizing all documents and personal items that had been left in the theretofore locked MSCC, with no arrangements for how students may go about retrieving their belongings, and no explanation of the disposition of those items so seized other an unexplained references the “documentation” of said items;

Whereas, the Administration of The City College of New York asserts that all materials and items removed and seized from the MSCC will be returned after documentation of those items so removed and seized, with no explanation as to any basis upon which these materials and items were seized or could now be held, and with still further no explanation as to how proper ownership of any materials by otherwise-bystander students could be established;

 

Whereas, the Administration of The City College of New York, in carrying out the abovementioned efforts to seize and annex the MSCC, thereby blocked access to other unrelated campus facilities, not the least of which were the numerous libraries and study spaces, in unannounced fashion, and further specifically chose to do so during the weekend of Midterms Exams;

Whereas, the Administration of The City College of New York, in carrying out the abovementioned efforts to seize and annex the MSCC, thereby placed the North Academic Center premises into lockdown status through use of campus security personnel, with interested and disinterested students, and other bystanders alike, all stuck inside with no plans or allowances by the Administration of The City College of New York or by college security personnel for the immediate and proper departure or evacuation of all people from the building, and this, again, during Midterms;

 

Therefore, we the undersigned petition, and the students both current and past of The City College of New York and the City University of New York insist, that the Administration of The City College of New York find a new location for the Career and Professional Development Institute, with student and faculty input and participation in that process;

We the undersigned, along with both current and past students of The City College of New York and the City University of New York, further insist that the Administration of The City College of New York immediately return all documents and items that were taken out of the MSCC, along with a full and detailed public accounting of what was taken, why it was taken, how it was stored, and why and how it was “documented”;

 

We the undersigned, along with both current and past students of The City College of New York, further insist that the Administration of The City College of New York forthwith cease making decisions involving space allocation until and unless it invites and accepts the meaningful participation of students and faculty, which at a minimum, can be afforded through working with the duly elected representatives of the USG and Graduate Student Council;

We the undersigned, along with both current and past students of The City College of New York, further insist that a joint committee regarding facilities usage be immediately reinstated or otherwise meaningfully replaced, so as to ensure there is a useful shared forum between students, faculty and the Administration on this and other similar issues on an ongoing basis, in accordance with The City College of New York Shared Governance Plan’s Art II, § 2(d) and other meaningful parts.

Petition Closed

This petition had 789 supporters

Share this petition