Students at the private New York City arts school The New School (TNS) are continuing to occupy a campus building until instructors agree to administer As for the semester, according to their list of demands.
The students began the occupation of the TNS University Center on Dec. 8 to support faculty members who were on strike for more than 3 weeks for higher wages and better healthcare, according to the Instagram account New School Occupied. Despite the strike ending on Dec. 10, the occupants published a new set of demands that day which included A’s for all students, the resignation of school leadership and the disbandment of the Board of Trustees.
“We demand that every student receives a final course grade of A as well as the removal of I/Z grades for the Fall 2022 semester,” the demand letter read. “Attendance shall have no bearing on course grade.”
The students also endorsed revising the school structure to favor “community self-governance” rather than through traditional leadership after over 430 students, staff, faculty and parents voted 421-10 on Dec. 12 to have no confidence in TNS administrators.
“This vote, the successful founding act of this coalition, expressed that we have no confidence in this current administration and the trustees,” the announcement read. “We rather have confidence in ourselves as ONE NEW SCHOOL to continue the fight for returning the university to community self-governance.”
Over 1,500 signatories endorsed the vote at the time of publication.
Other demands include reimbursed tuition to compensate for the time instructors were not in the classroom during the strike, a tuition freeze for academic years through 2028, cancelation of fines accumulated by students during the strike, leniency for class time missed for health reasons and free course materials, according to the demand list.
The students also demand that the President’s house “be treated as a communal property of [TNS] and used for purposes determined by the non-administrative TNS community” and that “all future members of the President’s Leadership Team be elected by a majority vote that is open to the non-administrative TNS community, who retain the right to recall that appointment.” The demands also state that non-administrative staff receive a pay raise proportional to any raises given to the school’s Board, Provost and President.
The coalition is hosting an “inaugural celebration” to celebrate its founding on Dec. 16. It will “celebrate the coming together of [TNS] community to support the [part-time faculty] throughout the recent strike.”
“This event is an opportunity to harness this historical moment of solidarity between students, staff, part-time and full-time faculty, alumni, and parents towards real change at our university,” the announcement read.
The occupying students held a variety of events on Dec. 15, including radical reading groups, a “Panel on Labor & the Left” and a “Talk on Chinese Labor Organizing.”
New School Occupied, TNS, the President’s office and the Board of Trustees did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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