From the New York Times...
N.Y.U. Students Continue Occupation to Press Demands
It was not quite a campus uprising. For most of the thousands of students at New York University, Thursday was a normal day of studying and lectures.
But outside the Kimmel student center on Washington Square South, more than a dozen New York City police officers stood watch with campus security officers.
Inside the building, students who had barricaded themselves in a third-floor cafeteria on Wednesday night vowed on Thursday to continue their occupation until they were able to present a list of demands to school administrators.
A surge of new protesters pushed their way past security guards and into the cafeteria about 9 p.m., according to students who were contacted on their cellphones.
University officials, who had allowed the students to spend one night in the cafeteria, told them they would not be welcome to stay a second night, although it was not clear whether the students would be removed by force.
About 11:30 p.m., one of the protesters, Banu Quadir, 21, a senior at the university, said the group would soon begin negotiations with the administration.
Earlier, a university spokesman said the two sides had been unable to arrange a meeting. John Beckman, the spokesman, said, “Regrettably, the students rejected our offer of dialogue, insisting on remaining in the room and setting a number of preconditions.”
The N.Y.U. students created a Web site (takebacknyu.com) where they published their demands, including thorough annual reporting of the university’s operating budget, expenditures and endowment. They also want the university to provide 13 scholarships a year to students from the Gaza Strip and give surplus supplies to the Islamic University of Gaza.
The students also called on the school to allow graduate teaching assistants to unionize and to freeze tuition.
The occupation was peaceful, though some tensions surfaced at least twice, first when more students forced their way past campus guards and joined the others in the cafeteria, and later when the protesters defied officials by using a balcony near the cafeteria to address students outside the center.
The occupation, organized by a student group called Take Back NYU!, began just before 10 p.m. on Wednesday when about 70 students took over the dining room in the Kimmel Center, a modern building that is a hub of student activities and includes administration offices and a theater.
The protest was similar to one in December at the New School a few blocks away, and some of those at N.Y.U. said they found inspiration in the New School occupation, which also took place in a cafeteria.
Not all those in the dining room were N.Y.U. students. Saher Almaita, 22, a senior philosophy major at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., said curiosity and sympathy led him to join the protest.
“We’re so alienated from each other that the opportunity to do something together is a rush,” he said, then added with a smile, “I want to experience humanity to its fullest.”
The students passed their first night chatting, reading and playing cards. They ate food they had brought, including apples, oranges, hummus and peanut butter. Some joined in an exercise session they called the “calisthenic dialectic workout,” stretching and jumping in place before adjourning for a discussion of Hegel’s philosophy that lasted nearly until daybreak.
The students’ numbers dropped briefly on Thursday when some left to go to classes. School officials had sought to keep others from joining.
At one point, students removed a cylinder lock from a door that led to a balcony above Washington Square, then used a megaphone to address students below with speeches and slogans.
Opinion on the sidewalk was divided; some denounced the occupation as disruptive and others were more encouraging. “I don’t support all of what they’re doing,” said Adrian Untermyer, 19, a freshman, “but I support the fact that they’re asserting themselves.