Follow Up Friday: New School Occupation

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chris Crews, media liaison for "The New School in Exile" and graduate student at The New School, talks about how students at The New School who occupied the school's cafeteria claimed inspiration from the Greek protesters.


Chris Crews

Comments [5]


few things are important to realize :

many aspects of the situation had not been properly anticipated which led to a great deal of excitement.

the administration was largely cooperative on several issues and we felt the need to 'lock those in' legally while the mood was still civil was a worthwhile thing.

the protest was disbanded early only under the condition that it resume in a larger and more organized fashion if demands were not met in the established timeline.

Dec. 19 2008 02:09 PM
Scott from Tulsa

I am a New School alum who was heavily involved in the last significant student protest 12 years ago. Then the Security Guards were subcontracted out and students were on the front-line in the fight to get them hired. We protested against the institutional racism that is indicative of such sub-contracting.

At that time students and members of all staff - Guards, Maintenance, Clerical etc. - were on the same page and called for institutional integrity in a unified voice. How unfortunate to see students now pitted against Maintenance Workers and Security Guards. Certainly this is something that the current administration has culled and developed in dividing the staff from the students. It is no accident. Indeed James Murtha came from CUNY precisely at that time and unfortunately for the New School he certainly has learned well from this past lesson.

Too bad the rest of the University has lost it's institutional memory. As a proud alum of that school I do hope this student victory can be sustained and the student-staff rift can be transcended.

Dec. 19 2008 01:55 PM
BRF from Brooklyn

I agree with Eva. The YouTube video of the security guard amid the students says more about the thrill and empowerment of giving your self over to be part of an angry group than it does about, ah, whatever these protests were allegedly about. Listening to those angry monotone chants while seeing the guard try to get through that narrow cinderblock hallway kind of freaks me out. Some more critical thinking and questions for the guest would have been welcome, whether he's been up since 3 or not. His analogies with the situation with Greece, etc., seemed ripe for examination. And he has a problem with Bob Kerrey? Who did he think was the president of the New School when he applied?

Dec. 19 2008 12:08 PM
shaun from astoria

as a new school alum, i'm proud of your actions, but you gave up too early. i hope your "victories" are more than token.

kerrey and murtha should go.

once again, "the man" wins

Dec. 19 2008 11:10 AM

I don't claim to know anything about this, but in watching the video, I have to say, oh my God, I feel bad for the security guards.

They look like Gullivers trying not to resist too strongly the cigaret-pants'ed Lilliputians holding them back, if only for fear they might accidentally shatter one of these delicate creatures and be sued by someone's parents in Orinda.

What this occupation has to do with 67-year-old pensioners rioting in Greece and 600-euro Athenian youth is beyond me.

In another ten years, these kids might look back on their antics in horror and revulsion. Then again, who doesn't? I have the uneasy feeling that the girl who is outraged about allegedly having been "thrown to the ground" seems, like Madeline Kahn in "Young Frankenstein", a little bit too excited about the experience.

The great thing about my generation is that we don't have digital evidence of everything we ever did. As Didion said, just the continuous, unforgiving loop in our brains.

Dec. 19 2008 02:22 AM

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