Nine students staging a sit-in inside the Allen Building since Friday afternoon were granted amnesty from disciplinary action after a meeting with administrators late Sunday night.
The students have stated that their sit-in will continue until their demands—which include the termination of Executive Vice President Tallman Trask, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh and Parking and Transportation Services Director Carl DePinto—are met. Trask hit a parking attendant with his car in August 2014. Allegations of harassment and discrimination have been made against PTS. Provost Sally Kornbluth said after the meeting that she looked forward to a “serious conversation” about the protestors’ demands, and confirmed that the students would not be removed for the time being. The Allen Building will be closed Monday as the sit-in continues.
“In order to facilitate productive dialogue and move towards a peaceful resolution, the nine students will not be subject to student conduct sanctions and legal penalties for their actions,” administrators wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff early Monday morning. “In addition, it is university policy to prohibit retaliation against students, faculty and staff who express their views.”
The sit-in participants said administrators asked students who were protesting outside Allen to take down the approximately 15 tents they had erected. The protestors did not appear to immediately accept the request and were prepared to stay the night outside of Allen as of midnight.
“The reason we’re being listened to is because we’re loud, we’re visible and we’re here,” sophomore Mohamad Chamas told the assembled protestors. “We’re going to stay that way.”
Talks between the sit-in participants—who planned to remain in Allen overnight—and administrators will resume Monday morning at 11 a.m.
Students inside Allen participated in extensive conversations with administrators throughout the weekend—including Kornbluth, Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, President Richard Brodhead and Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs.
Administrators reversed a position they had previously stated that students would be asked to leave the building Sunday. Administrators had also added that if the students did not leave they would be in violation of university policies and subject to disciplinary action.
“They don’t scare me,” said junior Lara Haft, one of the students in the building, earlier Sunday. “They’re going to have to come in and physically arrest me.”
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