Yesterday, I blogged about some students at the City University of NY who have honored Assata Shakur, a convicted cop killer, as well as Puerto Rican terrorist Guillermo Morales at their ‘community and student center’ by naming the center after the fugitives, who are both currently residing in Cuba. The center has had this name since 1989, but the issue has only recently come to light.
Matthew Goldstein, the chancellor, called the designation of the room as the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center “unauthorized and inappropriate.”
A number of City College students interviewed yesterday — as well as Gregory H. Williams, the college president — said the names on the door had meant nothing to them. But one student who recognized them, Sergey Kadinsky, said he wanted to “raise awareness and raise a debate.”
The Daily News printed a letter from him on Monday complaining about the names, and followed up with an article and an editorial yesterday headlined “Celebrating killers at City College.” The News said the college had no intention of renaming the room.
But yesterday the college was hit with complaints. City Council members James S. Oddo, Dennis P. Gallagher and Andrew J. Lanza, the council’s three Republicans, said in a letter to CUNY released publicly, “Unfortunately, this demonstrates that City College is woefully out of touch with the taxpayers who subsidize the university.”
After receiving Chancellor Goldstein’s directive that the names be removed, Dr. Williams said yesterday in an interview that he would do just that and was trying to talk to the students. “Hopefully they will see the error of their ways, and will take it down” he said. “If not, we will take steps to take it down.”
But the students were not ready to acquiesce.
Rodolfo Leyton, a City College senior and the center’s director, said students planned to speak to a lawyer, Ronald B. McGuire, and possibly “seek legal remedies.”
Hat tip: ST reader and NYC’r Leslie