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News ::
5-10, 5:45 pm: Northeastern Update
10 May 2001
As of 5:45 today, several hundred students and community supporters were still awaiting Northeaestern President Freeland's decision regarding the John D. O'Bryan African American Institute.
At 5:45 today (when this reporter had to leave), President Freeland of Northeastern University had still not publicly presented his decision on the future of the John D. O'Bryan African American Institute. President Freeland was scheduled to present the decision of an Advisory Board at 5:00 pm. However, the Advisory Board was still in a closed meeting on an upper floor of the Institute at this time.

Downstairs, approximately 200 students and community supporters were holding a community dialogue, discussing the sit-in and its links to other issues. Some mentioned the recent Harvard sit-in. Others spoke on the process that had led the situation at Northeastern to this point and what they were learning from it.

One woman discussed her reserach of President Freeland's career prior to his arrival at Northeastern in 1996, when he was a vice-chancellor at the City University of New York (CUNY). There, she said, Freeland played a role in the controversial dismantling of remedial education programs.
A majority of those present were people of color, thogh white allies also made a showing.

Outside the building were another 50 to 70 supporters and onlookers, along with members of the press. (Press were not allowed into the Institute. Because there were two police officers stationed at the door of the Institute, this reporter assumes that was the university's rule, though it was unclear.)

Police presence was also high, with at least seven uniformed officers. There was also a man periodically scanning the crowd with a video camera--considering that he was not filming any dramatic moments and was not close enough to be getting TV-worthy shots, this reporter presumes he was also with police or private security.

Nonetheless, those present were peaceful and passionate. Word of President Freeland's decision will hopefully be posted here before too long.
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