Kent Syverud, chancellor of Syracuse University, has issued a statement in which he apologizes for the way some recent decisions were communicated to the campus. The statement comes as a student sit-in (at right) -- focused on a range of issues, with an emphasis on concerns the university is backing off commitment to minority students -- is in its second week. In his statement, Syverud said that he had learned from the protest movement, but he suggested that it was time for it to end the sit-in, and for protesting students to work instead with the student government to voice concerns. "To make significant change, though, we need to move forward," he said. "Tonight we responded with our final written response and have informed THE General Body [the name of the protest movement] that our time must now be spent addressing the needs of the entire student body."
THE General Body announced that it would respond in full today. But its initial response was critical of the chancellor's statement. "After two days of not communicating with us, Chancellor Syverud’s e-mail of a 'final offer', copied to the entire university community, is counterproductive to the negotiation process. The administration has made real promises, but too many responses are vague and direct us to preexisting processes that are not transparent and disinclude student voices. THE General Body is unsatisfied with this offer and continues to demand the administration recognize our outcry against the rapid and undemocratic revision of university goals and missions. We reiterate our insistence that undermining the demographics of our student body, the mental and sexual health of our students, the accessibility and safety of our campus, and the relationship of Syracuse with its community are not appropriate or democratic ways to balance our budget."
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