Students Occupy Building, Protest Brandeis Budget
WALTHAM--Between 30 and 40 students took over an office and classroom building at Brandeis University yesterday in an attempt to force the Brandeis' administration to consider their demands that cutbacks in next year's budget be rescinded.
The occupying students demand increased financial aid to offset the $650 rise in student expenses; continuation of a remedial program aimed at disadvantaged students: increased enrollment of Asian and minority students; no cutbacks in staff; and complete legal and academic amnesty for the students who have participated in the takeover.
The students, who call themselves the Student Action Committee, will stay inside Pearlman Hall until the administration "shows good faith" towards meeting their demands, Benjamin W. Tai, a spokesman for the group, said yesterday.
A support group picketed outside the building starting at 8 a.m. yesterday, when the building was taken over, Nearly 200 students participated in the support demonstration at its peak.
Brandeis's president, Marvin H. Bernstein, met during the day with other administrative officials to decide on a response to the demands, but made no official comment on the situation.
'Unable to Continue'
The administration summarized the university's position,' however, in a statement issued by Bernstein's office yesterday afternoon, which said that unless next year's budget is perfectly balanced "the university will be unable to continue to finance its operations."
Brandeis will have a cumulative deficit of $15 million by the end of this year.
The student committee asked the general student body to boycott classes in sympathy with its demands, but most classes were held and many of Brandeis's 3,416 students attended them as usual.
The official student government at Brandeis yesterday passed a resolution censuring "the aloof attitude of the administration and the budget they have produced," but it did not specifically mention the takeover in its statement.
Students at Brandeis have been working to change the budget since January, when it was tentatively approved by the Brandeis Board of Trustees. The board gave its final approval to the budget in March.
Boycott at UMass
At the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts, class attendance was down 50 to 75 per cent as students began a two-day protest of the 10 per cent reduction in the university's expenses that Gov. Michael S. Dukakis seeking.
The student coalition that organized the protest has asked students to go to Boston today to protest the cutbacks at the State House.
Picketing at D.C.
About 60 black students picketed the office of the Boston College president yesterday seeking support for their proposals for change in the college's minority education program.
The president, Rev. Donald Monan, was reported away from the campus during the day