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SUNY Fredonia program cuts protest Friday

A SUNY Fredonia student group plans another protest of proposed program cuts Friday, and this one is slated to end up in Barker Common.

Police Chief David Price made the announcement at Wednesday’s Fredonia board of Trustees workshop.

“Students for Fredonia is planning a protest on Friday,” he said. “It’s gonna start on campus at Fenton Hall and they plan on making their way down Temple Street or Central Avenue to Barker Commons, where they plan on having two or three speakers.”

Price continued, “Henry Domst stated he is one of the coordinators for this event. I assured him that the Fredonia Police Department believes in the right to peaceful assembly (and) expression of their First Amendment rights. I also shared with him that as a taxpayer, SUNY Fredonia is a pinnacle part of this community, and I would hate to see funding for the university go by the wayside.

“So I support his endeavor, but it must remain peaceful. I shared with him that I would hate that their message got lost amongst people that didn’t feel the same way. He doesn’t know how many people to expect, he gave me a number of 300. He was honest when he said he did not know.”

Domst told the OBSERVER protesters should meet at Fenton Hall on campus at 2 p.m. Friday. He said the protest will loop around campus until about 2:45 p.m., then head back to Fenton Hall to pick up stragglers, on its way down Central Avenue to Barker Common.

“There will be speakers (at the common) to highlight the depth of the problem,” Domst said. “We’re really trying to get the community involved.”

“I was under the impression it was staying on campus,” said Mayor Michael Ferguson, at the workshop. He added, “I support it 100% from the standpoint of supporting the college… but also for public safety you have to know when things like that are going on and there is a process and procedure, and I will call the gentleman after the meeting today to remind him of those situations.”

Students for Fredonia organized a busload of students to Albany Feb. 12 to protest the planned cuts, which would slash 13 program degree majors. Students for Fredonia also helped organize a Dec. 7 protest that drew hundreds of participants, a day after University President Stephen Kolison announced the proposed cuts.

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