If you want to know more about the whys-and-wherefores of the New School occupation, you can go to the New School in Exile site — we sent them a note Friday and just got back a press release. NSIE carefully avoids identifying itself with the occupiers, whom they describe as “Situationist-inspired students.” They provide videos of what they describe as a rally and spontaneous march, which look like kids (some masked) wandering the streets and getting spontaneously arrested or smacked by cops; statement of solidarity and/or disapproval of the New School’s handling of the event by the Economic Student Union, the Lang Faculty Executive Committee, a faculty union, et alia; and the press release, disputing the Administration’s characterization of events and well as those of unnamed others (“People have claimed that the intent was unclear. This is baffling… The purpose of an occupation is to occupy. To fill a space, to change its use, to reclaim it”), and complaining of lack of student space “that doesn’t need to be reserved, that meets students’ needs, where students can freely express themselves peacefully, or that they can even decorate.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education fills in some blanks, reviewing students’ longstanding problems with the school’s president, Bob Kerrey, who received a vote of no confidence from the faculty in December but continues to hang onto power, and who actually says of Friday’s student protestors, “They put on black masks and wander around New York City? We still remember 9/11 around here.” Kerrey also promised to cling to his office “unless the quality of my life deteriorates.” NYU Local reports that three of the students arrested were from NYU and had been rounded up during February’s NYU student occupation; the new arrests might impact the terms under which they have heretofore avoided suspension.