Members of the Coalition of American University Students (CAUS) marched to President Neil Kerwin’s home on Glenbrook Road Nov. 8 to demand a tuition freeze, leading to the dispatch of two AU Public Safety cars and a Metropolitan Police Department car.
“You are in violation of the law,” said an AU Public Safety officer over his car’s loudspeaker as the students approached Kerwin’s home. D.C. currently forbids “unreasonably loud noise” after 10 p.m. Nobody was arrested.
Over 40 CAUS members arrived at the home just before 11:30 p.m., banging on pots and pans and shouting protest chants, such as “hey hey, ho ho, tuition hike has got to go” and “beat back the tuition attack.”
“You’re hurting yourselves,” said Kerwin, who left his home to address the students.
Kerwin criticized CAUS’s method of protesting, particularly the noise level in a residential neighborhood late at night.
“It’s not the way it’s [a tuition freeze] gonna get done,” Kerwin said.
“Who are you accountable to?” CAUS member Mana Aliabadi, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, asked Kerwin.
“The [AU] Board of Trustees,” he said.
Several CAUS members chanted the name of investment banking firm Goldman Sachs in reaction.
AU Board of Trustees Finance and Investment Committee Chairman Gary Cohn is the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs.
“One would expect the president to be accountable to the students,” said CAUS member Valerie Kiebala, a sophomore in the School of International Service, in a phone interview with The Eagle after the protest. “We’re really surprised by Kerwin’s lack of respect for us.”
Kiebala said that CAUS members will expand their focus and plan to approach trustees and other members of the AU administration to discuss a tuition freeze.
Photo: JARED ANGLE / THE EAGLE
Video: ALEJANDRO ALVAREZ / THE EAGLE