A group of roughly a dozen students marched from floor to floor in the Lang building, peeking into classrooms and faculty offices. At one point, the protesters walked past president David Van Zandt, who smiled broadly as he heard the chanting.
The walkout moved on to the University Study Center at 90 Fifth Ave., where the students attempted to hang a banner saying “On Strike” outside the window. A New School security guard quickly put an end to the effort. The students then marched up Fifth Avenue toward the Free University event at Madison Square Park.
One of the marchers, Moremi, a 19-year-old Lang student, explained why she chose to join the walkout. “There are certain fallacies about money distribution at our university. We’re hoping that by voicing our concerns, someone might actually listen.”
Lukas Walczak, 20, explained student concerns further. “During the last ten years, there has been a steady and systemic disencouragement of civil liberties in this country. In addition, national student debt now adds up to a trillion dollars.”
“We have the privilege to have this education, and this is our way of showing solidarity to those who are unable to receive education,” Walczak said. “This is not just about visibility; we’re trying to get people revved up.”
The student walkout then progressed toward the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on E. Houston and 2nd Avenue the site of a “wildcat” march. At the park, other protestors and dozens of police officers looked on as the New School students held their banner high. “We’ll see what happens,” said Walczak. “Things are very tentative.”
Later in the afternoon, the NYPD arrested Walczak at a protest rally near The New School campus on Sixth Ave.