Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson Staff Union releases statement on April 25 arrests

Bryan Hecht
Police enter the 2B alley to begin making arrests of protesters on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Several students could be seen being “dragged and physically assault[ing] peaceful protesters,” according to the Boston Chapter of the Palestinian Youth Movement. (Bryan Hecht/Beacon Staff)

Following the arrest of 118 protesters on April 25, the Emerson Staff Union (SEIU888) condemned the violent police response, calling it “unacceptable.” 

“Emerson students protesting for justice in Palestine have been arrested twice in as many months for nonviolent protests,” they said, referencing the March 22 arrests outside Cutler Majestic Theater and the recent arrests. 

They specifically made five requests of Emerson College toward resolutions: 

1) The allowance of peaceful protesting and free speech, as well as the rejection of violent police action and wrongful arrests.

2) An independent and thorough investigation of the events leading up to these arrests, specifically looking into “students, faculty, and staff locked out from their campus to face violence and arrests by Boston’s civil servants.”

3) A written response from administration, President Jay Bernhardt, and the Board of Trustees to SJP’s demands, specifically disclosing investments with stakeholders. 

4) Pass/fail should be offered to all students [Editor’s note: this has been awarded since the publication of this article].

5) Create a new Policy on Demonstrations that is representative of all stakeholders, students, staff, and faculty.

SEIU888called Emerson to “conduct a cold, sober analysis of the facts” before, during, and after the April 25 arrests

They hope the administration will create a plan in response to the testimonies and perspectives provided at the April 29 town hall, concluding that “Emerson failed its students on April 25, not for the first time.”

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About the Contributor
Merritt Hughes
Merritt Hughes, Opinion Co-Editor

Comments (1)

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  • R

    roger house / May 2, 2024 at 10:16 am

    The union statement is strong but needs additional context on point 2 calling for an “independent and thorough investigation.” Namely, that many of the people subjected to the trauma of undue police action on campus were Black women staffers and students of color. They were manhandled in the side alleyway of the college with effects that will linger for long. Such actions create a climate of fear for Black and Brown campus citizens whenever they encounter campus security or police; and it can embolden white instigators to disrespect Black women professionals and students of color with the confidence that security forces will take their side. President Bernhardt has unleashed a type of terror on campus citizens of color in ways not seen since the Boston busing crisis of the 1970s. Part of an independent inquiry should be the question of his removal from office should he refuse to resign.

    Roger House – Professor Emeritus