Administration retaliates — against students — over student support for faculty rights

Four Fordham students evicted from dorm rooms—on 15 minutes notice just after 6pm on Friday evening—as the Administration retaliates against students over their support for faculty rights

IMG_6541On Friday evening fourteen students received letters from Fordham Dean of Students Chris Rodgers, who imposed severe sanctions on them for participating in a Thursday demonstration in support of faculty rights.

In four instances, the sanctions included immediate evictions from dorm rooms—at 6:30 on a Friday evening, with but 15 minutes to gather their belongings—and a ban from campus except for strictly academic purposes. The Paper had an early story on the situation.

As you may have heard through campus and other media, a scuffle broke out when students attempted to enter the building to deliver a petition to Fordham University President Joseph P. McShane, who is currently continuing on the job despite an overwhelming vote of no confidence in mid-April.

There were injuries on both sides, including to two Public Safety officers.  The Fordham Ram coverage is here. New York One also included a clip of it in their story about faculty rights at Fordham. Shorter videos can also be found here.

While we all regret those injuries and deplore any acts of violence that might have led to them, these sanctions—described in the letter as “interim”—were imposed without any proper procedures being followed. The letters justified the actions by citing a passage of the Student Handbook saying that the Dean of Students may suspend students in advance of their hearing if he “determines that the well-being including, but not limited to, the health and safety of the community or of the accused student is endangered by that student’s presence on campus.”

These students pose no plausible threat to the health and safety of the community or students. This is a vindictive punishment applied without any proper procedure to students who went out of their way to support Fordham faculty.

We strongly urge you to read this petition, which explains the situation in more detail, and to sign it, as well as forward this e-mail to other members of the Fordham community and beyond.

Student who have followed the university’s message to “be bothered” by social injustice are now finding themselves summarily thrown out of their housing—in the week before finals.