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Who are we?

The Student Activism Engagement Team is a collective of community stakeholders appointed by the senior leadership at Syracuse University. We are charged with assisting students by:

  • expressing student concerns related to student activism;
  • providing resources and guidance regarding safe and compliant ways to protest, including use of University space and logistics; and
  • connecting students with areas and individuals that make decisions regarding student programs, services, resources, policies and University practices.

Jorge Castillo
Director, LGBTQ Resource Center

Meredith Davis, Co-Leader
Associate Vice President of Student Engagement

Marcelle Haddix
Dean’s Professor and Chair, Reading and Language Arts, School of Education
Chair, Agenda Committee, University Senate

Justine Hastings
President, Syracuse University Student Association

Jeffrey Mangram
Associate Professor, School of Education

Diane Lyden Murphy
Dean, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Brice Norquist
Associate Professor and Dean’s Professor of Community Engagement
Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, College of Arts and Sciences

Christabel Sheldon
McNair Program Director
School of Education

Cole Smith, Co-Leader
Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Peter Vanable
Associate Provost, Graduate Studies and Dean, Graduate School

How do we engage with students?

Passive engagement

  • Monitor the pulse of the campus to address incidents or decisions that could escalate to protest.
  • Communicate with senior leadership and make recommendations.
  • Meet with campus constituencies that express concerns around Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access and the student experience.
  • Convene as a group to discuss topics and approaches to engaging students on campus.

Active engagement

  • First responders to protest and demonstrations.
  • Negotiate, when possible, the logistical or programmatic needs of student protesters.
  • Work with the University community and City of Syracuse leaders to offer guidance and forecast potential challenges that could arise due to tense social moments that occur on campus, in the City of Syracuse, nationally and globally.

The Student Activism Engagement Team members are NOT:

  • Protest managers. We believe students have the right to assemble and express their ideas. We want to assist them in navigating a multilayered system to help them further articulate their ideas and connect with the appropriate stakeholders.
  • Adjudicators of conduct. In instances of protests or demonstrations we advise and remind students of the code of conduct and potential violations, so they have full knowledge of their actions and potential outcomes.

How do we operate?

  • SAET holds standing weekly meetings or as often as necessary.
  • Connect with offices and areas that support student services and experiences.
  • Collaborate with offices and areas for student programming (e.g. election-related programming).
  • Present to community stakeholders in different meetings and venues.

How can you contact us?

  • We are open and available to meet with any constituencies on campus as individual members representing SAET or as the team.
  • To contact SAET, please email us at