TIMELINE: IEC negotiations with NYU administration


Anne Cruz

Students continued to protest in Kimmel throughout Saturday for NYU to abolish the box.

Anne Cruz and Lexi Faunce

On Friday afternoon, the Incarceration to Education Coalition began a sit in at the Kimmel Center for Student Life. Organizers and supporters stayed overnight, despite being told that they could be subject to disciplinary action or even arrest. Saturday saw continuous back and forth between IEC organizers and NYU’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Marc Wais. WSN has compiled a timeline of the developments between IEC organizers and NYU administration throughout Saturday afternoon and evening as they occurred.

At 6:10 p.m. Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Marc Wais addressed the IEC and presented them with the university’s written response to questions and demands posed by IEC.  The IEC was given an hour to deliberate and decide whether they would accept NYU’s terms or plan to occupy Kimmel for another night. However, the IEC requested additional time to make their decision.

The questions given to the university Saturday afternoon included requests to facilitate and to set the agenda for a meeting between IEC, NYU and the Common App. They also requested that the meeting be open to the public, a request that was denied by NYU administration.

“The Common Application representative  will be joining us by phone, given his already committed calendar. The meeting will not be open to the public,” the response from the university reads. “The meeting needs to be conducted in a professional fashion and consistent with past University and IEC meetings.”

At 7:55 p.m., IEC announced that they did not accept the university’s terms. The members said they want to confirm a date for a public meeting with President Andrew Hamilton before they leave the Kimmel staircases, and said they are willing to stay another night and to face disciplinary actions.

At 8:14 p.m., Wais addressed the crowd again and said that the terms are not changing and that the members had until 8:30 to accept the terms for a meeting with the Common App and President Hamilton, otherwise, the university would rescind the terms outlined in the university’s response.  He also said that the meeting would take place within six weeks, before the 2016 commencement.  However, the meeting with the Common App CEO Paul Mott would still occur as said in the University Response

At 8:18 p.m. Wais said he would return to the staircases at 8:30 to hear the group’s final decision.

“I’m trying to be helpful,” he said. “You guys have twelve minutes.”

IEC organizers requested Wais to communicate the organization’s desires to meet Hamilton within the next week.  IEC organizer Alison Reba expressed that the six week wait period demonstrated the university’s complicitness in the box and the injustices it creates.

“You can find a way to make the time,” Reba said. “It’s urgent. That needs to happen within the week. It has to.”

Organizers and supporters discussed with Wais after the 8:30 deadline, agreeing to vacate the Kimmel stairs only if the following agreements were made.

At 8:35, Wais returned and agreed on three important terms with the crowd.

  • IEC will have a private, recorded meeting with the Common App representative on Tuesday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m.
  • IEC will meet with President Hamilton within the next two weeks.
  • IEC will not trespass before Tuesday’s Common App Meeting.

Wais also agreed to advocate for the meeting with Hamilton to be public and recorded.  

“I will advocate for great urgency and time sensitivity,” he said. “I’ve never told a lie, and I’ve never said something and looked students in the eye without meaning it.”

At 8:41 p.m., the crowd cheered as Wais left to type and send the agreements to IEC.

At 8:49 p.m., Wais returned and said that the meeting with Common App could not be recorded. IEC members subsequently appealed to those who recorded the conversation between Wais and IEC organizers to find video proof of a verbal agreement.

At 9:09 p.m. Wais addressed the visibly upset crowd again to clarify previous statements in agreeing to let IEC record the meeting between IEC, Common App and the university. He said that IEC not recording the meeting was a non negotiable term.

At 9:20 p.m. Wais left the Kimmel lobby with several IEC members to listen to recordings from his 2:30 and 8 p.m. announcements.

Update – March 26, 11:25

At 9:31 p.m., IEC members began broadcasting the recordings from Wais’ two announcements and made plans to stay overnight in Kimmel for the second day in a row.

At 9:48 p.m., IEC members ran supply runs for food, drinks and other commodities, including kitty litter, to sustain the night. In addition, members were concerned that Kimmel would not open until noon the following day.

At 10:21 p.m., Divest member and IEC supporter Sophie Lasoff announced she received a call from Wais, who requested to meet with a small group of IEC organizers.

At 10:38 p.m., IEC members announced they received a final offer from Wais and said they had 10 minutes to decide whether they will accept a recorded meeting with the Common Application this Tuesday. In addition, the offer included Wais advocating for a meeting between the IEC and President Hamilton before the semester ends.

At 10:49 p.m., Mark Wais walked back into the Kimmel lobby, and the IEC members informed him they decided to accept the university’s terms on the condition that he could ensure a meeting with President Hamilton, instead of “advocating” for one.

At 11:07 p.m., IEC read an email from Wais that stated he would advocate for a timely meeting with President Hamilton before the end of the semester and that IEC’s meeting with the Common App on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. would be recorded.  IEC will facilitate the meeting, which includes giving a presentation.

The IEC has disbanded their occupation of the Kimmel center and plans to continue advocating for NYU to become box-blind following Tuesday’s meeting.


Additional Reporting by Greta Chevance, Christine Wang and Diamond Naga Siu. Email Anne Cruz and Lexi Faunce at [email protected].