Union Statement Regarding Campus Events

April 30, 2024

The Emerson Staff Union-Local 888 SEIU joins our campus in expressing grief, mourning, disappointment, and pain resulting from the egregious and violent response by police to our students, staff, and faculty on April 25, 2024. Emerson students protesting for justice in Palestine have been arrested twice in as many months for nonviolent protests. This is unacceptable. We have the following requests for steps toward resolution:

1) Violence, wrongful arrest, and the suppression of speech are not acceptable at Emerson. They are inappropriate responses to peaceful, nonviolent protests anywhere, especially at any higher educational institution.

2) A close, thorough, and independent investigation of the events, facts, and responsibilities that led to these arrests must be conducted. The experiences of students, faculty, and staff locked out from their campus to face violence and arrests by Boston’s civil servants must be examined and understood.

3) The Administration, President, and Trustees owe a thorough and complete written response to the demands issued by Emerson Students for Justice in Palestine. The College must share more details on their investments with stakeholders.

4) Any student impacted by recent campus events or other personal/familial events should be offered a pass/fail option so that this semester does not affect GPA, graduation, or scholarship funding.

5) The Emerson Staff Union does not support the current Policy on Demonstrations and seeks representation from all stakeholders, students, staff, and faculty on establishing a new policy that reflects the rights of all Emersonians to redress grievances.

At this time, we call for Emerson to conduct a cold, sober analysis of the facts and to craft a detailed, benchmarked plan reflecting the involvement of the Emerson community in learning from the lessons our students taught on the 29th of April 2024 in the Semel Theater and becoming better. We conclude that Emerson failed its students on April 25, not for the first time. We must credibly promise our current and future students that Emerson College will never fail them so badly again.

On behalf of the Emerson Staff Union,

John-Albert Moseley, Chair
Daniel Crocker, Co-Chair
Eric Matthews, Recording Secretay
Iris O’Connor, Chief Steward