Durham City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson, Trinity '03, and Sendolo Diaminah, Durham Public Schools Board of Education member, visited the students sitting in the Allen Building in protest of the treatment of workers at the University Sunday morning at approximately 9:30 a.m.
Johnson and Diaminah spoke with the students about their ongoing sit-in—which began Friday evening—and the administration's response. The students were told Saturday evening they would be asked to leave some time Sunday and be considered trespassers subject to disciplinary action.
"I'd like to see the administration negotiate with them in good faith and address their demands, which I think are very important for the future of this university," Johnson said. "As an alum, a lot of the things that the students are asking for have been problems on this campus for a long time."
Johnson and Diaminah's conversation with the students was interrupted when a security guard said that he spoke to Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and was instructed to close the first-floor doors that make up the main entrance to the Allen Building.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for government affairs and public affairs, noted Sunday morning that the Allen Building is closed to those who are not already inside and that administrators continue to be in contact with students.
Johnson and Diaminah remained outside the building along with a small group of students and faculty while those orchestrating the sit-in remained inside. Students had planned another gathering outside the Allen Building for 10 a.m. Sunday.
City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson speaking to protestors about her attempts to talk to the students inside pic.twitter.com/qffrMtaqQD— The (Duke) Chronicle (@DukeChronicle) April 3, 2016
Sendolo Diaminah, member of Durham school board, speaks about student protestors pic.twitter.com/eX7rqrp53Y— The (Duke) Chronicle (@DukeChronicle) April 3, 2016
Johnson tweeted from her personal account that no other outside media outlets would be allowed on campus Sunday to document the ongoing sit-in and protests.
@DukeU is refusing to allow reporters on campus to document student occupation of Allen Building.— Jillian Johnson (@jillian4council) April 3, 2016
Schoenfeld noted that outside media can come interview him in front of Perkins Library at 1:30 p.m.
Update: This story was updated at 10:30 a.m. to include subsequent Tweets and Schoenfeld's comment. Check back for updates on this developing story.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.