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SU student protesters deliver resignation letters for chancellor, DPS chief

Syracuse University student protesters walked out of classes Thursday, demanding the resignations of the chancellor, public safety chief and others. Protesters said they do not have confidence in those officials to carry out the changes they said are needed, after racist graffiti, vandalism and other incidents occurred on campus last month.

Students with the group #NOTAGAINSU, marched from Hendricks Chapel to Crouse-Hinds Hall. One of the protest organizers, a senior who did not want to give her name, delivered the resignation letters to Chris Johnson from the Chancellor’s Council.

“We’ve asked for similar demands," the organizer said. "It’s not the first time we’ve asked for these demands. These demands were agreed to."

She asked the crowd, "Do ya’ll see the results?”

"No!" they responded.  

The organizer described an event earlier in the day. They wanted to put up signs for the walkout in Crouse-Hinds Hall. But protesters of color were not allowed to enter, she said, even though white students were allowed in.

“That’s pure racism on the behalf of Department of Public Safety, which is why I reiterate, we are calling for resignations,” the organizer said.

In a statement, SU said classes were moved out of Crouse-Hinds Hall to protect the academic environment from disruption. People with appointments, or students with work study jobs were allowed in.

One student of color who joined the walkout, a junior who also did not want to give her name, said when the racist incidents first started, she brushed them off.

“Somebody writing something on the wall, a word against black people, okay,” she said. “But, once there were 10 events and four in a day, it was like no, there should be something done about this. This is not just a once in a lifetime event. This is bigger than that.”

Protesters said since the chancellor signed a list of demands, meant to address the issues of racism on campus, there has been little action or implementation.   

Protesters are demanding the resignations of Chancellor Kent Syverud, DPS Chief Bobby Maldonado, a senior vice president and an associate DPS chief by Jan. 13, the first day of classes for the spring semester.

Tom Magnarelli is a freelance reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area.
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