Today, Sunday 10/20, the City College/CUNY administration has taken over the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Student and Community Center.
As of early Sunday morning, the North Academic Center, which houses the Morales/Shakur Center, and the library were both closed during the day. Though the library has since reopened, the Morales/Shakur Center remains closed, despite a policy for all CCNY buildings to be open 24 hours during midterms week to allow students to study. Police, CUNY Security, and administrators have been refusing to let students into the Morales/Shakur Center, and have already arrested one former CCNY student. The administration has placed a sign in front of the Morales/Shakur Center that reads “Center for Professional Development.” A University representative informed students in a press release that the Morales/Shakur center has been closed and will be designated furthermore as a Career Resource center. Books, documents, and personal belongings of students were removed from the center and are being held and “examined”.
An emergency press conference will be held before a CUNY demonstration Monday, October 21st, 12:30pm, outside City College at 138th St. and Amsterdam Ave.
The Morales/Shakur Center—won through 1990s CUNY struggles—has been an invaluable space for community groups to meet on campus, for students to connect with their political elders, and for movement histories to be retained and shared in Harlem. The Center has provided a space for students to organize around a number of issues recently, including the addition of gender identity into the school’s anti-discrimination policy, and the combating of rape culture at City College.
The closure of this space is a serious assault on our right as students to organize and cultivate community. This follows the September 17 arrest of six CUNY students peacefully protesting David Petraeus’s teaching appointment. Furthermore, the CUNY Board of Trustees plans to impose a policy broadly curtailing our right to political assembly on CUNY campuses at its next November 25 business meeting.
Please join us Monday, October 21 at 12:30 pm outside the North Academic Center to hold CUNY accountable for its stifling of student voices and disempowerment of community organizing.