Continuing an uphill battle with the DePaul University administration, student and community groups will gather at 55 E. Jackson (Jackson and Wabash) 13 June 2007 at 11 a.m. for a rally, in a plan to escalate pressure on the nation’s largest Catholic university. The protest is in support of academic freedom, as well as tenure for Professors Norman Finkelstein and Mehrene Larudee. Students have been sitting in the executive offices of DePaul President Fr. Dennis Holtschneider since Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.
Upset over DePaul’s denial of tenure to Professors Finkelstein and Larudee, and after a meeting between 30 student leaders and Fr. Holtschneider, students have taken action to defend academic freedom, under attack by the university administration. While the students presented Fr. Holtschneider with a petition of over 700 signatures calling for the reversal of the decision and questioned the legitimacy of the university’s process, the DePaul President flatly rejected their demands and insisted that he would not reevaluate his position. Up until this point, the university has accommodated the sit-in, though it informed the students that they must abandon by 5:00 p.m. today. The students are determined to hold their ground.
The faculty and students will be meeting today to discuss the appeals process and future steps. The organizations that have called for this protest include DePaul student organizations Students for Justice in Palestine, DePaul Students Against the War, Society for International Affairs, Model United Nations, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, as well as outside groups Palestine Solidarity Committee, Council on American Islamic Relations, and International Socialist Organization.
Victor Lang is a DePaul University student.