!URGENT! Binghamton Univ.Students Revolt
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 14:28:59 -0400
BINGHAMTON TAKEOVER SEEKS SUPPORT (fwd)
< BORINQUEN >
This message is originally from Haniel at SUNY Binghamton. -rc
<< start of forwarded material >>
From: Chris Brady <bradychr@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: BINGHAMTON STUDENTS PROTEST POLICE
HEY GUYS! JOHN, LOWELL, IT'S HANIEL UP HERE AT
BINGHAMTON. I'D APPRECIATE IT HIGHLY IF YOU GUYS
COULD GET THIS INTO THE PRESS ASAP.
WE NEED EXPOSURE FROM OTHER UNIVERSITIES, AND
WE NEED IT AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. IF YOU
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT (607)-777-3722. HOPE
TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
OCTOBER 16TH, 1996: BUILDING TAKEOVER IN PROGRESS
Several hundred students have taken over the administration building
of the State University of New York at Binghamton to protest police
brutality! Please alert all those you can through your contacts on the
web. We need support! Below is a flyer we have given out about
the event that has demanded this action. Send protests to President
Lois DeFleur phone#607 777-2131
Alfonse M. D'Amato phone#202 224-6542 fax#202 224-5871
Daniel Patrick Moynihan phone#202 224-4451
New Student Assembly Executive Board evicts
VPMA [Vice President of Multicultural Affairs] - University
Community reacts to new views on affirmative action By Abby
Ben Ezra, News Editor When Binghamton Universitys SA-E
Board meets for the first time this
fall, one person will not be there. As other students were receiving
their diplomas, the four popularly elected of the SA-E Board met
on May 19th to discuss the future of the current position of
the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs. After reviewing a
Juidicial Board decisons last spring, president Anthony
Benardello, executive vice president Chris Abdoo, financial
vice president Eric Kopelman, and academic vice president Jeff
Golant voted to cancel VP-MA Natalie Bledmans stipend,
reallocate her office space and ban her from E-Board meetings.
SA president Benardello siad the VP-MAs position is not
in accordance with the SA constitution, so the E-Board felt it
was important to remove her from the office immediately. The
position doesnt exist in the constitution, he said. The E-Board
should consist of four members. Bernardello said that the position
only exists in Bylaws IV, which he specified was not approved
by the students, so the VPMA should not have
equal status as an E-Board member. We agree that there is a
VPMA, but no office space, no stipend, Benardello said. (Pipedream,
In the weeks following this announcement, student
protesters have been demanding the reinstitution of the VPMA.
Both SA Executive Board and the University Administration
have refused to take seriously the concerns raised in SA
meetings and contributions to student newspapers.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
Following a memo written by students attempting to
attend the SA meeting on Octobert 15th, 1996, read to several
hundred students at rallies the next day
Last night the Student Association was convened in
the Student Union at 7pm. This meeting was closed to the
general student body due to thedisruption of the previous
meeting by underrepresented students. Thesestudents came
in large numbers to protest the illegal removal of the
Vice-President of Multicultural Affairs - the only representative for
these people on the executive board of the Student Association.
For this meeting an illegal "random" lottery was made by
the SA executive board, University Security officers, and
University President DeFleur and her appointed administrative
officials. 30 students were selected by the SA executive board
which is composed of only white males, headed by
37-year-old Desert Storm veteran Anthony Benardello.
Now that they have eliminated the Vice President
for Multicultural Affairs position which protected the rights
of underrepresented students, dissenting voices within the
Student Association government on the executive level have
effectively been silenced. Students who protested the closing
of the SA meeting and attempted to enter the were attacked
without warning from the University security officers who
had been convened with special riot gear by direct order of President
When the Vestal Police were summoned by students to
protect them, they were told that they were unable to do so since
they were subject only to the authority of President DeFleur.
Students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender were
attacked with pepper spray, thrown against walls, poked in the
eyes, punched in the face, and those who attempted to leave
the area were blocked by University security officers and subjected
to further assault. No warning was given due to the official gag
order placed on Campus Security by the University
Administration under the direct guidance of President DeFleur.
Could all of this have been avoided? Yes. Let us
remember that at the close of the 1996 Spring Semester
President Defleur and the entire University Administration
were warned of an open forum by the Anti-Defamation
League and the Urban League (who were summoned to
investigate the political antics of the newly elected SA
Executive Administration) that if the actions of
conservative extremists were not addressed quickly that there
would be a serious outbreak on campus. Tensions were so
high at the end of last semester the University had to hire
special security to protect the student commencement speaker
so that she would not be assaulted. While it may be the hope
of the Student Association President Anthony Bernadello to
reduce this conflict to the whining and complaining of students
of color, let us remember that students and staff (male,
female, black, white, Latino, Jewish, Asian, etc) were attacked
with pepper spray and beaten. Even people who were not part
of the event were sprayed as the administration-directed
University Security Officers to create and maintain "order"
which is a euphemism for an atmosphere of terror and intimidation.
Are you willing to sit by and watch while all of our rights erode?
In light of the attacks on students last night by ULED officers, resulting
in the hospitalization of several students, and the issues of SA
which lead up to this,
We the Students Demand:
1) that the administration provide a safe and inclusive
environment on this campus - particularly protecting students
from ULED officers, and a reevaluation of ULED policies and
procedures: discontinuation of the use of force, chemical agents,
and the threat of harmful weapons against students
2) an independent investigation into ULED's abuses of power on
3) a meeting between coalition representatives and President Lois
DeFleur to discuss the current crisis, including specific measures
for its immediate resolution.
4) immediate dissolution of the current Student Assembly, including
impeachment of the SA Executive Board, and support from the
administration to form a new SA.
5) The reinstatement of the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs.
6) Open access for all students to SA meetings, in accordance with
the Constitution and state laws.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE BINGHAMTON COALITION
THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BINGHAMTON
- 9PM OCTOBER 16, 1996
SUNY Binghamton Coalition students remain in the
administration building, and will remain until our demands
are adequately and respectfully met. Earlier in the afternoon,
we initiated a meeting between the Binghamton Coalition and
President Lois DeFleur. The President attempted to limit the
number of representatives allowed in her presence, continuing
a long standing racist construction of public danger. She
outlandishly stipulated that a formal invitation was necessary.
We initially complied with these demands, even permitting
unnecessary ULED escorts, who surrounded the president,
filled the halls, and crowded the staircases. However,
after delays, overt intimidation, and run-around tactics,
we decided to terminate a dialogue that only served to reinforce
Lois DeFleurs agenda of disenfranchisement through the
medium of alleged discussion. Moreover, we condemn the
Presidents attempt to cover abuses with a pose of concerned
neutrality. It could only have been with DeFleurs tacit or
express consent that ULED officers attacked students the
previous night with chemical agents and brutal physical violence.
We continue to demand:
1. Immediate dissolution of current Student Assembly and
comprehensive re-evaluation of student representation on
campus, with particular emphasis on historically and currently
2. A safe and inclusive atmosphere on campus (The
discontinuation of the use of force, chemical agents,
and threat of harmful weapons against the students).
3. The reinstatement of the Vice President for Multi-Cultural
We are well aware that the current crisis on this
campus is merely the initial, dimly premonitory reflection
of larger, more menacing forces within dominating U.S.
cultures, which enforces a monocultural reality to the detriment
of our very lives. In resisting the larger historical agendas
of oppression, we reject all illegitimate power. All supporters
are invited to express their support by joining, or otherwise
communicating, with us. We will remain in the
Administration building until our demands are met. We refuse
to be placated, patronized, intimidated, displaced,
disenfranchised, disempowered, infantilized,
racially demonized, or otherwise silenced.
Center for Campus Organizing
Cambridge, MA. 02142