Faculty group threatens NYU with service strike if demands are not met by fall

A group of faculty hold hands at a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

Some faculty and staff at NYU are threatening to withhold administrative work for the fall semester if senior leadership does not remove police from campus and pardon those facing disciplinary action for their participation in pro-Palestinian demonstrations by Aug. 1, NYU’s Faculty & Staff for Justice in Palestine group announced this morning.

The strike would include the withdrawal of administrative labor such as serving on committees, on-campus task forces, taking part in admissions, event planning and communications that do not acknowledge the violence in Gaza and that “misrepresent our students and colleagues.” An FSJP representative, who requested to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, said the potential strike would not directly affect students, and that teaching and advising would continue normally throughout the semester.

“The administration is not listening to anyone, and Linda Mills has not sat down with students in eight months,” the representative said in an interview with WSN. “All the letters that have been sent to protest the disciplinary measures have been largely ignored, so this is the response that you get from a community whose voices are not being heard otherwise.”

The representative said that though FSJP cannot disclose the names of the strike’s pledgers or how many faculty and staff have signed on, “there’s already a lot of support.” 

FSJP said in a newsletter Friday that the university has continued disciplinary hearings “with harsh and unjust consequences” for students involved in recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations since it began proceedings a few weeks ago. The university suspended nine students and two are reportedly facing persona non grata status after a demonstration held inside Bobst Library two weeks ago, according to the NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition. 

NYU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors — along with several other groups and departmental chairs — have called for the removal of NYPD presence on campus and for the university to provide amnesty for those facing disciplinary action since the first Gaza Solidarity Encampment in Gould Plaza in April, which saw dozens of student and faculty arrests. The university also authorized the NYPD to sweep another encampment outside the Paulson Center earlier this month, resulting in the arrests of around 14 students. 

The FSJP newsletter also criticized the reflection papers and dozens of writing assignments the Office of Student Conduct imposed on students arrested at the encampments, which hundreds of faculty called for NYU to “immediately stop using” in an open letter last week. Shortly after, NYU said staff at the OSC would work to “improve the quality” of the exercises this fall. 

“The reason for announcing this today, since it is a fall action, is to put pressure on the administration with regard to the upcoming disciplinary cases a lot of our students are facing,” the FSJP representative told WSN. “The presence of NYPD on campus is an outrage to most faculty and students. To guarantee the safety of our community, we’re insisting that this will be written down and abided by.”

A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Contact Yezen Saadah at ysaadah@nyunews.com.

This story Faculty group threatens NYU with service strike if demands are not met by fall appeared first on Washington Square News.


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