Provost and vice chancellor meet with hunger strikers

A group of five students and one staff member met with senior administrators in California Hall for almost two hours today to discuss issues raised by the “Hunger for Justice Coalition,” just a day after Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau issued a letter responding to the strikers’ concerns.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande, Associate Chancellor Linda Williams, and Student Affairs Chief of Staff Felicia Lee participated in the meeting with the six people, one of whom is participating in the hunger strike.

“We are deeply concerned for the health and safety of the hunger strikers and encouraged them to end the hunger strike and continue the dialogue,” said Breslauer.

The strike, now it its fourth day, has focused on issues that include Arizona’s SB 1070 and HB 2162; maintaining a safe campus for undocumented students; dropping the fall student conduct charges; reinstating laid-off union workers; continuing to review the student code of conduct; and ensuring non-violent management of student demonstrations.

“The conversation hit each topic area,” said Le Grande. “Everyone left the meeting in agreement that it would be ideal to end the strike soon for the safety of the students, and we are working to be back in communication tomorrow.”

“We appreciated the heartfelt exchange of experiences and concerns,” said Williams. “The issues they are raising are very important to our community, and we are committed to continuing the dialogue with these students.”

Throughout the week, medical staff from University Health Services has regularly checked in with the hunger strikers to share information about how to maintain their health and wellness.