More than 100 members of the Syracuse student body are hosting a powerful sit-in for change following the defunding of student resources on campus. Beginning at the start of the month, students began gathering on campus to protest the closure of the Advocacy Center, a resource for victims of sexual assault, as well as the reduced funding for POSSE, a resource and scholarship program for minorities — resources that are of paramount importance on any campus. The sit-in was organized by THE General Body, a student coalition at Syracuse who asked that students post pictures of themselves with their reason for dissent. The messages proved a useful tool in illustrating the need for change at the university. “Still we sit…” reads one message from a protester, “Because access to mental health services is a life or death issue.”
Students also want the student body president to be able to send mass emails to the study body directly, in order to raise awareness about ongoing issues with the university’s policy making. They want the university to discontinue or minimize its investments in fossil fuels; hire a coordinator to improve accessibility for disabled people on campus; and improve undergraduate representation in on-campus committees, among other demands.
Read some of the pleas for reform from the Syracuse student body below: