Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
The Senate Chamber occupation by York University students heads into a sixth night on Tuesday, without any sign of the university giving into demands and security presence on the rise.
Security was tightened on Monday morning amid reports the Students For CUPE 3903 would be evicted from the chamber they’ve occupied since the last Senate meeting on Thursday.
The university had temporarily blocked ninth floor elevator access to the public on Monday, but was restored Tuesday morning.
The university maintains that students enrolled at York may leave and return from the chamber as they wish as part of the occupation.
However, security started blocking the stairs by the chamber on Monday and they remain locked, according to students on site.
“We are still here, we have reclaimed this space, and we are building community,” the occupiers tweeted on Tuesday.
“Come join us!”
The student group is acting in support of the local 3903 Canadian Union of Public Employees that make up some 60 per cent of the faculty at York and went on strike four weeks ago, but is also advocating on behalf of students.
Primarily, they want to have all classes cancelled until the strike is over, a move the Senate has previously delayed with the support of the university administration.
Secondly, the student group demands York return to the negotiating table with CUPE 3903 without offering concessions.
The group also demands a tuition refund to all students for the Winter term, a request made by Humber College students last fall which was denied.
A final listed demand is for more information on why York’s president, Rhonda Lenton, allegedly spent at least $20,000 on “personal expenses”, numbers that have not been verified at this point.
York University and the occupiers have exchanged several statements on social media but students at the Senate say that only one member of the administration has visited, but not in an official capacity.
University staffer Debbie Hanson was sent on Saturday to the chamber and dropped off care packages.
More details to follow. Image of inside the Senate Chamber occupation on Mar. 26, 2018 from The Avro Post.