There’s All Kinds of Crazy Going on at the New School


You know how we told you about the vote of no-confidence that the faculty of the New School gave president Bob Kerrey? Well, since then, a lot has happened. See, students have been angry for a long time at Kerrey for what they see as mismanagement of the school. They want a new library and study space to replace one scheduled for demolition, they want a say in the replacement of departing Provost Joseph Westphal (the fifth to depart since Kerrey took over the school in 2001), they want to be able to advise endowment managers on responsible investments, they want to be able to address the board of trustees, and they are generally creeped out by Kerrey’s participation during Vietnam in the Thanh Phong Massacre.

On Wednesday night a large group of students occupied the school cafeteria, sparring with police and expanding their territory throughout the building through Thursday. According to e-mails we’ve received, Kerrey canceled a University Student Senate Forum meeting on Thursday night. Instead, protesters gathered outside the school around 11:30 and waited for Kerrey to exit. They chanted and followed Kerrey until the Vietnam veteran, who is missing part of one of his legs, broke into a run. Someone, around this time, threw a tomato. They called the late-night rally a “decisive victory.” Now the protesting students, who call themselves the New School in Exile, have published an agreement that Kerrey agreed to sign. The first bullet point? That they don’t be punished for protesting, not even that guy who threw the tomato.

Protest at the New School Turns Unruly [City Room/NYT]
New School in Exile [Blogspot]