Protest

Anti-Cop Protestor Has a Change of Heart After Going Through Police Training

A self-described radical activist and major opponent of law enforcement’s recent actions agreed to undergo police training, to see what it’s like to be an officer in a violent situation.

Reverend Jarrett Maupin underwent several basic scenarios where he would need to determine if it was appropriate to use force. In the first scenario, he failed to identify a threat, and was shot before he could draw his gun. In the second scenario, simulating an officer breaking up a fight between two unarmed men, Maupin choose to shoot a man who would not stop advancing toward him.

Afterwards, Maupin admitted that he didn’t realize how quickly the situation unfolds. That’s an important point for everyone to keep in mind when looking at these scenarios: police officers have dangerous jobs and need to make split second decisions. It’s much better to comply, and work things out later, than be belligerent and threatening toward an officer.

-By Cole Ellenbogen

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Legitimizing Violence

Arguably one of the most dishonest and annoying tactics employed by protestors, and media is trying to sell to completely dichotomous issues as a package deal. (I.E: if you agreed with the Ferguson Grand Jury, you think black lives don’t matter; if you support Israel, then you must hate palestinians… that sort of thing.)

The most recent of these “package deals” being pushed comes in the wake of the Eric Garner protests against the NYPD: If you’re angry about Eric Garner’s death, you must hate all police officers. The problem with this anti-cop rhetoric is that it’s being spread by influential figures like New York City Mayor de Blasio, cable news and political pundits.

Here’s the problem:  you can disagree with the way the police handle something without wanting to kill officers who are already risking their lives, but fanning the flames and trying to drum up resentment for the police allows groups of sick people to use the cause as a legitimate front for their hatred.

When we don’t rebuke hoards of people marching at “F*ck the Police” rallies, chanting, “What do we want? Dead Cops!” Eventually someone is going to make good on their threats. The recent murder of two NYPD officers had nothing to do with race and everything to do with a belligerent, hate-filled individual with a long criminal record killing two random officers because he thought public opinion was behind him.

The status posted by Ismaaiyl Brinsley before murdering two NYPD officers.

The status posted by Ismaaiyl Brinsley before murdering two NYPD officers.

To make matters worse,  he was right – in the wake of the shooting, many took to social media to celebrate the killings. Two wives lost their husband, a teenager lost his father. You don’t rejoice over someone’s murder because of their career choice, whether you agree with them or not.

The same thing happened this summer when a significant number of people sided with the known terrorist organization “Hamas,” while Gaza lobbed missiles at Israel and hid behind human shields. Enough people condemned Israel that actual anti-semites felt comfortable taking to the streets, assaulting Jews and looting their businesses.

Protestors need to stop spouting hateful slogans and encouraging violence – we do not want to go down this road. Having every police officer constantly fearful of being slaughtered by a wanna-be martyr nut job is probably not going to help race relations. I know that kind of stress would certainly put me on edge if I were working an already dangerous job.

To Review:

1. You thought some police officers were too tough before? Wait till you see how things go now that someone shot two of them, just because they don’t like cops. This probably isn’t going to do wonders for race relations either.

2. Saying that it is karma when someone kills one police officer because of something another police officer did, just because they’re both police officers follows the same logic as firing one accountant because another accountant majorly botched an expense report.

3. Everyone acts so tough until they need the police. Perfect example: the organizer of a “F*ck the police protest,” had her car stolen while she was off chanting for dead cops. Immediately after, she went to the police station, begging for help getting her car back. I’m sure the irony was lost on her.

4. Fanning the flames with hateful rhetoric legitimizes violence. It already happened in Europe during the Israel-Gaza conflict with rampant outbursts of anti-semitism. It happened again in New York city when the internet celebrated the deaths of two murdered police officers. Don’t escalate things any further.

5. And finally, because the heaps of ungrateful, damnable pro-cop-killers aren’t going to say it: bless the law enforcement, and all first responders, for protecting us every day – thank you for your hard work.

By Cole Ellenbogen.

White Christmas = White Power?

This post is going to be difficult for me to get through without swearing, so bear with me – I could’ve just as easily called this: SNOW IS RACIST, ALLEGES SOCIAL MEDIA.

I like country music. Everything from the feel of it, to the lyrics, it just always puts me in a good mood and makes me think of the summer time.

I also like Darius Rucker. I don’t know anything about his political stance on anything, and frankly I don’t care; he’s a musician and I like to compartmentalize. He sings a particularly good remake of wagon wheel, if that gives you a better idea of who he is.

Anyway, last night Darius Rucker performed a Christmas song at the Rockefeller Tree-Lighting in New York City, and was immediately blasted on social media for being racist and insensitive. I’m sure you can already guess which villainous song he was singing: “White Christmas.” Apparently, that is insensitive because of the recent grand jury decisions in both Ferguson, and NYC. See for yourself:

WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED; IT FEATURES AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COUNTRY MUSICIAN SINGING ABOUT HOW HE HOPES IT SNOWS THIS CHRISTMAS.

I understand that some people are upset with the Eric Garner case, but to consider just the color white to be racist is insane.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t whitewash buildings, use whiteout to correct writing mistakes, or talk about Walter White’s tragic life on Breaking Bad, until the protests have all ended? By that logic, power outages, thin, hard-to-see ice and my favorite kind of olives are ALL racist as well! (See also blackout, black ice and black olives.)

Darius Rucker should not be taking flack for singing one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time simply because it contains the word “white” and there happens to be a protest about the death of an African American occurring nearby.

I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that there are people out there who legitimately believe “White Christmas” is a racially charged and hateful song, or the fact that those people incorrectly used the word “ironic” to describe the situation. I know it doesn’t really relate to the story, but irony is not coincidence. Just figured I’d throw that in there.

Either way it looks like I have to stay inside for the rest of the winter so I don’t see any of that racist snow.

Give me a break.

By Cole Ellenbogen

The Blatant Unapologetic Dishonesty Surrounding Ferguson

I wasn’t planning on writing anything else about Ferguson – I already said my piece about the rioting – but on Monday I was reviewing for final exams when class was interrupted by protestors walking around the building, yelling about the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson.

And then I thought about the blatant lies that are being used to perpetuate a certain narrative about what happened. These are the things that infuriate me about Ferguson:

“Hands up, Don’t Shoot!”

This is a slogan that protestors across the country have taken up, referring to the witness allegation that Mike Brown was shot while his hands were raised above his head in a sign of surrender. The official autopsy tears down this claim, as well as another lie being passed around by protestors that Brown was shot in the back as he fled.

To add to that point, the witnesses who told police that Brown was shot in the back, and that Darren Wilson stood over him and shot him again to finish him off were clearly trying to vilify Wilson, and cover for their friend. They should be arrested for obstruction of justice.

Rough sketch from the autopsy performed on Mike Brown

Rough sketch from the autopsy performed on Mike Brown

Yet protestors still use the slogan, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” in complete contradiction to the evidence. The St. Louis Rams players opened their most recent game against the Oakland Raiders with a “Hands up, don’t shoot,” protest, aggravating police who are working overtime to protect the stadium.

The fact that people are keeping up this huge lie on the national stage, simply because it gets attention and fits narrative they are trying to sell is disgraceful.

“Officer Darren Wilson Shot an Unarmed Teen”

You probably recognize this statement from the write in to almost every story covering Ferguson since August. It’s irresponsible to lead with that statement for two reasons. Firstly, teen is a deliberately misleading word choice: most people use “teen” to mean grade school age. Most people use “young adult” to mean high school age. At 18 years old, Brown was a legal adult. Painting him as a child to win sympathy is wrong.

Secondly, an unarmed person does not remain unarmed if they are trying to take someone else’s gun.

Publishing Officer Darren Wilson’s Address

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson's location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by "protestors." Photo Credit: youngcons.com

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson’s location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by “protestors.”
Photo Credit: youngcons.com

A gang in Ferguson put out a $5,000 bounty for Wilson’s address, and an additional $1,000 for each close family member. So it seems to me that publishing this information, when people are out for blood, is a grossly irresponsible thing to do. Yet the New York Times thought it would be appropriate. In doing so they put Darren Wilson and his family in danger.

The “Black Lives Matter,” Chant

Of course they do. All lives matter. I don’t hear anyone arguing they don’t.

My biggest issue with protestors who use this tactic is they are trying to change the parameters of the issue. It’s no longer about whether Officer Wilson acted in self defense – it devolves into, “If you disagree with us, you must think that black lives don’t matter.”

Here’s the thing: disagreeing with the Ferguson protestors does not mean I value the lives of one race more than another; it means I value forensic and physical evidence over conflicting and disproven witness testimony.

Do None of Them Have Jobs?

Someone will have to tell me what generous employer has given all those protestors and rioters four months off work. Protests are fine, but not when they interfere with the livelihood of other Americans. I believe this man sums it up best.

Tyree Landum was worried that he would loose his job when protestors blocking the highway, keeping him from getting to work. He has a right to be that mad.

Media Downplaying or Justifying the Rioting

While 10 businesses and a church burned to the ground in Ferguson, and more were looted, Time published a piece talking all about how rioting is actually pretty great. (Try telling that to the business owners who can’t feed their families because they lost everything.) They’re probably right, I’m sure those protestors really do mean well.

Totally unrelated note, here’s a video of Mike Brown’s stepfather yelling at the crowd to “Burn this B**** down:”

But again, probably totally good intentions.

Pro-tip, if you really want to convince the media that you’re looting because of how upset you are, you probably shouldn’t be smiling as you run out of the store with your stolen merchandise. Just a thought.

I’m Preparing For Finals

Sorry to be a little selfish here, but studying for finals is stressful; I don’t like exam week. I also don’t like being called a racist. That being said, I really don’t like being called a racist while I’m trying to study for exam week, by protestors who are marching around campus buildings in circles.

Please let the rest of us do our work in peace, and if you are going to protest, don’t lie. Thanks.

-By Cole Ellenbogen

Police Chief: The Greatest Racial Disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting Shot and Killed

Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn was verbally attacked by protestors, angry with police for shooting a suspect that authorities say assaulted an officer.

Flynn fired back, saying that police doing their jobs are not the problem. Take a look:

Flynn also had harsh words for some of the protestors: “They know all about the last three people who have been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department in the course of the last several years. There’s not one of them that can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city.”

By Cole Ellenbogen

Where You Stand

We’ve started a petition to show that we don’t stand with THE General Body be it because of their methods, or because of the effect we know their demands will have on all Syracuse University students. You can sign here if you agree.

But we know that it’s important to not just stand in opposition, but to stand for something. This is a brief survey to see what students think of the current protests, and the issues at hand at Syracuse.

BROAD ISSUES

Do You Support THE General Body?

If so, in what capacity?

 

Do You Support Possible Tuition Hikes to Pay for THE General Body’s Demands?

The money has to come from somewhere, right?

 

What is the Purpose of Syracuse University?

Is it a private school, or a democratic institution?

SPECIFIC DEMANDS

How Should the University Handle The Installation Of Transgender Bathrooms?

Renovate now, over time, or not at all?

 

Is The Current Level Transparency at Syracuse University Acceptable?

Should the university be doing more to include students, or is the current access enough?

 

Do You Support Requiring All University Students To Take a Mandatory Diversity Class?

…And would that help diversity issues on campus?

 

By Cole Ellenbogen

Are there other issues you’d like us conduct a poll on? Comment with your suggestions, or contact us.

Speak For Yourself: A Petition Against THE General Body and the Consequences Their Actions Have on the University

If you do not agree with the actions of THE General Body sign this petition.

Although THE General body calls for increased diversity, they attack their fellow students because they are “privileged” because they’re white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.  All things they did not choose to be.  They purport that they are speaking for those “who can’t” on campus, meanwhile bashing their fellow students for being things they can’t help…

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.27.47 PM

Syracuse Student Ben Castaneda refutes THE General Body’s idea that only white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled students can disagree with them.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.10.06 PM

Student Conner Renaud explains he is at Syracuse because of his hard work, even though THE General Body says it’s because he is privileged.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.10.36 PM

Syracuse Student Keelan Erhard informs a THE General Body supporter about diversity.

THE General Body even admits they do not represent the entire population saying “WE DONT SPEAK FOR YOU” referring to those members of the university that are white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.34.15 PM

Sierra Lee posts admitting THE General Body does not represent ALL the students at Syracuse.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.14.02 PM

Student Kevin Spectre notes that THE General Body contradicts itself by demanding diversity, yet condemning the privileged.

THE General Body is making demand as if the university were a democracy, even though it isn’t.  I would like to remind students of THE General Body that they choose to come to school here fully knowing the level of diversity, and accessibility.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.40.15 PM

THE General Body supporter Kareese Kirby complains about going to a school she CHOOSE to go to, because it’s “not diverse enough”.

Yet supporters of THE General Body protest as if it is their right to be able to change the school they choose to go for and are paying a service for. Even though it is a private university- AKA a corporation.

Students confused about the meaning of "corporation" take a break from patting themselves on the back to wave a poorly painted banner. Photo Credit: THE General Body

THE General body is clearly confused about the meaning of “corporation” .
Photo Credit: THE General Body

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 7.14.27 PM

Student Sarah Mikal understands the meaning of a private university, and explains to THE General Body coming to Syracuse was a choice.

Next thing you know they’ll be camping out in Macy’s and Target saying there is not enough diversity, and demanding that the store force customers to also buy culturally diverse attire. Then they’ll protest and refuse to leave because the store reduced a sale from 30% off everything to only 20% off everything.

Sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?

But this is exactly what THE General Body is fighting so hard for.

They want to force other students customers of the university to pay for services they don’t want diversity classes. They’re mad the university the private corporation cut back one of the many scholarships sales they graciously provided.

Theres nothing wrong with wanting change. But lets put an end to this ridiculous protesting and go through appropriate channels. Join the Syracuse Student Association. Their mission is “to represent and be the defender of the students.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 8.03.42 PM

Hmm now this might just be me… but doesn’t it seem like a better idea to go through the Student Association instead of camping out in the administrative building with an outrageously long list of demands, protesting that immediate change be made (which is unrealistic), even though as students we really have no say because it is a PRIVATE university. In case you’re unsure, the answer to that question is YES,  it is a better idea to go through the Student Association! 

Please stop this protest so that the productive members of this university, including Chancellor Kent and his administration, can get back to work.

By Kyra Azzato

An Open Letter To Chancellor Kent Syverud

Chancellor,

Enough is enough.

I support you. I’m not writing to complain about transparency, or scholarships, or divestment. I’m not even writing on behalf of my fellow students – I would never purport to speak for the rest of Syracuse University. I’m writing to tell you that I am tired of this protest dragging on, tired of self-righteous social media slack-tivism, tired of protestors hurling accusations of racism.

But most of all, because I’m worried about what this means for the future of this school. Below I’ve outlined my concerns, along with the simple request that you end this before you set a dangerous precedent of immature obstructionism, trespass, and lack of respect – or worse: listless spending at the whim of student complaints, resulting in soaring tuition prices.

YOU ARE IN CHARGE, NOT THE STUDENTS:

Some students have the misconception that Syracuse is a republic or a democracy. Proof is painted on their protest signs that ask “Is this a school, or a corporation?”

Students confused about the meaning of "corporation" take a break from patting themselves on the back to wave a poorly painted banner. Photo Credit: THE General Body

Students confused about the meaning of “corporation” take a break from patting themselves on the back to protest outside.
Photo Credit: THE General Body

I recommend that you put the topic to bed:

college-sample-bill

Sample bill, by which students (consumers) pay the university (corporation/vendor) for a service

 

Syracuse University is an organization that receives payment in exchange for goods or services. In that right, it is a corporation. The fact that the university extends services such as scholarships, resources and representation, is a nicety; by no means are you obligated to indulge the delusions that this private institution is a democracy, or a charity.

THE UNIVERSITY CANNOT AFFORD THESE DEMANDS WITHOUT RAISING TUITION:

Syracuse University is expensive. Tuition pays for a lot of the services we enjoy on campus,but what happens when a group demands you cut back on university investments because they are indirectly related to fossil fuels (because I’m sure none of the protestors drive cars,) and compel the university to remodel every single building on campus to add more transgender bathrooms? What happens when the group also adds that you cannot make budget cuts to pay for these pricey renovations they demanded?

Issues aside, a sensible person would realize the money isn’t coming from thin air. Changes would a mean tuition increase, far greater than what we’ve already experienced. I cannot, and will not pay higher tuition based on the whim of a few dozen students, nor should my fellow students.

PANDERING TO THE STUDENTS COST YOU AND THE COMMUNITY:

I admire your restraint amid serious allegations from students, parents, and even some faculty that your desire to salvage the university’s reputation are somehow racially motivated attempts to stamp out ethnic diversity at Syracuse.

However, this protest has escalated to where it is now because you have not laid down boundaries. I understand your desire to be seen as friendly and fair by your students, but this has come at the expense of respect.

Yay, happy people at Syracuse University. Photo Credit: ESPN

Yay, happy people at Syracuse University.
Photo Credit: ESPN

You have tried to make the students feel like you are one of them, while simultaneously attempting to wield authorityBy striving to be loved and respected you lost the favor and the cooperation of the student body, and wound up with this:

Protestors enter Crouse Hinds against the wishes of the building's owners - also known as trespassing or unlawful occupancy - and leave smudges on the windows. Photo Credit: The Post Standard

Protestors enter Crouse Hinds against the wishes of the building’s owners – also known as trespassing or unlawful occupancy – and leave smudges on the windows.
Photo Credit: The Post Standard

And, might I add, protestors trying force the administration to see meet with them, sneaking through a back door, overtaking the building against the wishes of the staff and refusing to leave, is criminal trespass.

THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT RATIONAL – THEY AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE UNTIL YOU MOVE THEM:

My point, Chancellor, is that you are dealing with people so self-righteous that they compare themselves to Germans living in occupied East Berlin – people who think that the productive solution to a problem is to sit down and get in the way.

These people are walking all over your administration. By not swiftly handling the issue, you are not only bringing yourself long-lasting terrible press, but you are setting a dangerous precedent that will be in place for the rest of your tenure: every decision you make is negotiable.

If you want to be the respected leader of the university, with the support of your students, then earn it. Stop placating, stop entertaining the fantasy that this private organization is some kind of democracy where college freshmen and twenty-somethings tell adults how to do their jobs, and put your foot down.

Only then can meaningful change occur at Syracuse.

Forgive me if I seem blunt: but my friends cannot do their jobs, prospective students are being put off by the chaos, and I fiscally cannot afford to pay the tuition hikes that THE General Body’s proposal would bring. I doubt I’m the only one.

Thank you for your time, Chancellor. Don’t let the stubbornness of a few damage the rest of your students.

Sincerely,

Cole Ellenbogen

5 Signs Your Peaceful Protest May Actually Be an Angry Mob

Peaceful protests are an essential part of democracy, but emotions can run high, and sometimes things can go south pretty quickly. If you ever find yourself wondering, “Am I a part of a violent and possibly illegal clash with police?” you can refer to these 5 signs that you might actually be a culpable participant in an angry mob. I recommend brushing up on these in advance if you’re planning on being in Ferguson, Missouri when the Darren Wilson Grand Jury verdict is announced.

1. MOLOTOV COCKTAILS:

Sometimes people get angry with authority, and take to the streets in protest. It’s all fun and games until someone puts down their picket sign – or more recently, pieces of paper with witty slogans designed for internet photo compilations – and pick up one of these bad boys.

An anti-government protestor throws a molotov cocktail toward security. Photo credit: thevelvetrocket.com

An anti-government protestor throws a molotov cocktail toward security.
Photo Credit: thevelvetrocket.com

You’ll be able to know that Molotovs – or Petrol Bombs if you’re European – are in play if you see the telltale fire that accompanies them. They’re often used against riot police when push comes to shove. If these things are being thrown around, your protest has probably turned into a riot.

2. ARMED ASSAULT AND ROBERY OF FELLOW PROTESTORS

Unity is key in a protest, especially if you want to keep things civil. If one group of protestors is selling T-shirts to spread awareness of your cause, this is a good! Signs and clothing are excellent ways of peacefully getting the word out about your plight.

Group of pro Michael Brown protestors selling shirts in a parking lot, before a second group led by Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael brown, allegedly assaulted and robbed their sales outpost.  Photo Credit: mr. conservative.com

Group of pro-Michael Brown protestors selling shirts in a parking lot, before a second group led by Lesley McSpadden, mother of the late Michael Brown, allegedly assaulted and robbed their sales outpost.
Photo Credit: mr. conservative.com

But even something as innocent as a T-shirt sale could get dicey. If you’re part of a splinter-protest group that appears to be assaulting the T-shirt sellers and stealing their merchandise as result of a trade-mark dispute, you’re probably in an angry mob.

3. PILLAGING/LOOTING OF THE COMMUNITY

A public vigil is a great way to unite a community. Pillaging is a great way to divide it! There could be looting in progress if you see groups of people breaking through glass storefronts, or masked persons running from stores carrying merchandise – this one can be tricky, be sure you stop and ask to see if they have a receipt.

A looter flees the seen of a Ferguson store after a candle-lit vigil. Photo Credit: ABC News

A looter flees the seen of a Ferguson store after a candle-lit vigil.
Photo Credit: ABC News

If the person does not have a receipt, they’re either forgetful, or a looter! This is a possible sign that the peaceful protest has deteriorated into an angry mob. If you are unable to get away from the mob, and absolutely have to participate in the looting, avoid places like gun stores, or ones that have NRA stickers on the windows. You’ll know a place is safe to rob if it has this sign either in the window, or on the property:

A poster advertising that there will be no armed resistance on the premises

A poster advertising that there will be no armed resistance on the premises.

4. PUTTING OUT A PUBLIC BOUNTY FOR A POLICE OFFICER AND HIS FAMILY

If signs like this appear around your town, such as the ones that a group called RbG Black Rebels have plastered all over Ferguson, be alert!

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson's location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by "protestors." Photo Credit: youngcons.com

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson’s location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by “protestors.”
Photo Credit: youngcons.com

While they provide an excellent opportunity for you and your friends to earn some easy cash, they’re also a decent indicator that a lynch mob of vigilantes (and not the good kind) is forming, and you should do your darnedest to stay away.

5. TORCHING OF BUILDINGS, RELATED OR UNRELATED TO YOUR GRIEVANCE

Arson is typically frowned upon by most, and has no place in a peaceful protest. One sign that arson is in progress is smoke coming from buildings.

There are a few buzzwords to listen for to make sure it really is mob-arson, such as: “Burn it down,” or “Burn that mother ****** down.”

__________

Protests are important to America: it’s part of how we can exercise free speech, and make others aware of major issues. But opportunistic mob-violence tears apart communities, and distracts from the issues at hand.

By Cole Ellenbogen

A Trendy Little Thing Called Kent-Bashing

If you live in Syracuse, you’ve probably heard of THE General Body, who are making headlines for sitting on the floor of a building until their list of demands, topping 40 pages, are met.

A skip card, which you can totally use on this next paragraph if you like. I don't mind. See?

A skip card, which you can totally use on this next paragraph if you like. I don’t mind. See?

(Skip this paragraph if you already know why they’re angry, or don’t care why they’re angry and want to jump to the point of the article.) Maybe they’re upset that Chancellor Syverud complimented students on working and holding jobs, because this suggests that work is voluntary and somehow demeans the plight of students who don’t have enough aid money – this complaint appearing in the “transparency” list: article 3.5.4 – or perhaps it’s because professors and students don’t have enough diversity training, and that all students should be required to take 3 credit classes on diversity; this demand, is taken directly from the “diversity” list – article 4.1 and 4.2.. They go on to demand an apology for bringing the university advocacy center to a different building as well.  I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what they want now because since I’ve started writing, they’ve added another two pages of  demands, which are getting increasingly more radical.  If you want to read it, I’m sure you can find it somewhere online. I won’t link it here because I doubt you actually want to read over 40 pages of their manifesto and demands.

(Welcome back!) The sentiment of the group, which completely defies common sense, is that former chancellor Nancy Cantor was a better leader of the university because of her recruitment policies, which favored increasing diversity on campus, and that current chancellor Kent Syverud is somehow a bigot for wanting to improve SU’s academic rating. This ranking lately hovers in the 40’s or 50’s nationwide, depending on whom you ask.

Nancy Cantor, clapping at something. Photocred: The Post Standard

Nancy Cantor, clapping at something.
Photocred: The Post Standard

But I’m not as interested as talking about the demands – other than to point out how ridiculous it is for these students to refuse to leave until their demands are met, considering the fact that some of the demands call for immediate modifications to university buildings – as am in tackling the trendy new culture of Kent-bashing, which will not die.

Fact: college students like to party, or at least enough of them do to rank Syracuse as a top party school. Related fact: college students aren’t widely known for their foresight.

Chancellor Kent Syverud condemned the ranking, likely because he knew it was terrible PR for alumni, and would not help current students find jobs after graduation. But not everyone agrees:

Photocred: The Post Standard

Chancellor Kent Syverud Speaks. Photocred: The Post Standard

Some students have made the assentation that graduating from the number one party school will prove to prospective employers that they have the work-hard-play-hard mentality. Following the logic of these students, and the numbers of the national rankings, you would be showing employers that you party roughly 40 times as much as you work. Personally I wouldn’t be putting that on my resume.

Regardless, it seems like everything Syverud has done has been treated as an attack on the SU way of life, and all problems at the university have somehow become entirely Syverud’s fault. Castle court closes: the ‘Cuse way of life is in danger, save ‘Cuse!” (A waste of a hashtag if ever there was one) A robbery occurs off campus: It’s Kent’s fault, he should bear personal responsibility for what happened because DPS was too busy busting parties – a fairly illogical claim if you ask me.

He is even blamed for the closing of Castle Court, formerly the happening outdoor party spot where students could enjoy both underage drinking and Syracuse’s lovely weather. This was the delayed result of Nancy Cantor’s actions, not Syverud’s.

Photocred: Socraticcomunity.com

Photocred: Socraticcomunity.com

A contributing factor to the problem is the, “too long, didn’t read,” mentality where one student has beef with the Chancellor, posts a whining Facebook status about how ‘Cuse is under attack, and then people start sharing it and reposting it without actually reading what was said. It perpetuates band-wagon Chancellor bashing, and unites students in a seemingly noble crusade against “the man.”

Occupy Protestors block foot traffic, ruin productivity, spoil everyone's nice time

Occupy Protestors block foot traffic, ruin productivity, spoil everyone’s nice time

Aside from the fact that occupy protests are lazy by nature – trespassing, taking up space and getting in the way of productive members of the community until they become so annoying that their opponent has to cave – my issue here is that THE General Body purports to be the voice of SU. The group has well under a thousand followers on social media, 80 members who met with the university staff, only a few dozen participated in their previous march against Syverud, (again, back to the band-wagon Chancellor bashing) and only 30 are taking up space in the Syracuse administrative building. These numbers are pretty insignificant when you take into account the fact that there are over 20 thousand students at SU.

The University is not without issues that merit attention, but the administration has already opened up channels for student negotiation and promised to deal with concerns brought to their attention. This protest drowns out the sensible requests, and poisons the well for constructive negotiations.

THE General Body speaks for themselves, not for the university, and certainly not for me.

In Review:

  • It both defies common sense and demonstrates extreme hypocrisy to for such a small, opaque group to appoint themselves the voice of the students against what they describe as an opaque administration
  • I can’t believe I have to say this, but Kent Syverud is not omnipotent, and thus cannot possibly be personally responsible for everything that goes wrong on and off campus
  • Hating the Chancellor when you don’t understand the issues at hand isn’t cool or trendy, nor is it a sign of a productive educational environment: it’s a sign of attention seekers drowning out the voice of their fellow students

By Cole Ellenbogen

What do you think?