Students Plan to ‘Disrupt’ Rutgers’ 250th Anniversary Celebration
A student group is threatening to disrupt Tuesday's 250th anniversary kickoff celebration at the New Brunswick campus with a protest over members' belief that student issues are being ignored by the administration.
A group going by the name RU Shared Governance (its Twitter handle is WhereRUBarchi, a reference to the university's president) in a press release said it will be "disrupting" what it called Tuesday's "gaudy events in order to speak out on what the university should actually be focusing on: actually benefiting its students."
Members expect over 15 student organizations to participate in their protest.
Spokesperson Mar Nikiforova said in a text that participants will be at the Old Queens building during the event and some will have "tape over their mouths to symbolize how legitimate student issues are silenced by the university's current administration."
Other participants will not have tape — they'll need to explain the protest while some carry signs.
RU Shared Governance said in its announcement that some of the issues it is concerned about include "insufficient wages" for campus employees while the school's "bloated administration" collects salaries "in the hundreds of thousands;" underfunded cultural centers; large student debt because of high tuition; and the school's investment in athletics.
"Rutgers students protest these issues annually, but are ignored by President Barchi and the Board of Governors every time," wrote the group in its press release.
Some of the groups participating, wrote Nikiforova, include the Native American Cultural Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, United Students Against Sweatshops and the United Black Council.
The group also calls the 250th anniversary, which highlights the school's origins during the Colonial period, "racially insensitive" to students who would have been "disenfranchised" during that era.
Planned events include fife-and-drum corps, a bell choir, and performances by Mason Gross musicians. There will also be a screening of the 250th anniversary film "Our Revolutionary Spirit."
A message seeking comment from Rutgers University has not yet been returned.