A campus-wide email was sent out tonight with a message from University President Dr. Joseph Nyre regarding today's demonstrations on campus.
According to the email, University administrators and Protect AFAM, the student group behind the protests, students met several times throughout the academic year.
"We sought to advance Africana Studies in partnership with students through a considered and collaborative process," Nyre said.
Today at 12:00 p.m., students from Protect AFAM began a protest outside of President's Hall in support of the University's Africana Studies program, with demands for administration such as hiring three to four full-time faculty and for AFAM to be reinstated as a department fully funded and supported by the institution.
Some of the group sat outside the Chancellor's Suite, where N.J. Governor Phil Murphy was speaking to a Government and Politics of New Jersey course.
At the time of posting this article, protesters remain inside President's Hall for a sit-in, reminiscent of Concerned44's in 2018.
They released a statement on their Instagram account, @protectafamshu, that said they will not be vacating the building. "We are fully capable of maintaining our actions as peaceful demonstrations and do not threaten any possible property damage," the post said.
Citing the University's protest policy, Nyre said that the demonstrators have "violated" the policy and have "opened themselves to University disciplinary actions."
Nyre said he is encouraging everyone to review what steps the University has taken to support AFAM. "We will continue to be open to reasonable dialogue to find ways to help the program succeed," he said.
Emma Thumann can be reached at email@example.com.