Memo: CUNY is Moving David Petraeus Seminar to Avoid Protestors

The City University of New York has relocated David Petraeus’s fall seminar, titled “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?”, to a more fortified campus building, under “increased” security, which will allow the former CIA chief to avoid a growing contingent of student protestors, six of whom were beaten and jailed by the New York City Police Department after last week’s demonstration.

Starting today, according to internal staff emails obtained by Gawker, Petraeus’ seminar will meet on the 16th floor of 555 West 57th Street, a high-rise building located ten blocks south of Macaulay Honors College, where the seminar was originally scheduled. In one email, CUNY staffer Jeffrey Weinstein tells the university’s facilities staff: “Security will be increased. You should avoid scheduling any meetings on Monday afternoons on the 16th floor. Your CUNY ID will be required for admittance to the 16th floor on Monday afternoons.” A tipster tells us that the building was likely chosen because it features a secured parking garage, allowing Petraeus to move about without dealing with the rabble outside.

It’s not clear whether other CUNY classes have ever been placed under such security. We’ve emailed CUNY and will update when we hear back.

The emails:


From: Lisa D’Amico
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 09:11 AM
To: Jeffrey Weinstein
Cc: Michelle Bent; Michael Feeney; Michael Rabin; Patrice Peltier; Ivy Coughman
Subject: 16ht floor meetings next week

As I was leaving yesterday I ran into Hector (one of the Construction PMs) who said that he just got out of a meeting upstairs where he learned that our office on the 16th floor will be hosting General Petraeus (and others) starting on Tuesday (for about a week?) and there will be no outside meetings allowed.

On the way in this morning I ran into Pravin and I asked him – but he didn’t know anything about it – he said he’d ask around.

I know I already have a meeting up there next week and I’m working on others – others on our staff may have them also - we need some official notice if this is happening. I guess you haven’t heard yet. I’ll let you know what Pravin finds out… Hector could be mistaken – or they could have forgotten to mention this to the handful of us on the 11th floor.

Contracts Administrator

City University of New York - Facilities Planning Construction and Management


From: Jeffrey Weinstein
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 9:35 AM
To: Lisa D’Amico
Cc: Michelle Bent; Michael Feeney; Michael Rabin; Patrice Peltier; Ivy Coughman; MaryAnn Bellomo; Donald Hooker; Monique Barfield; Tammy Iheme
Subject: Re: 16ht floor meetings next week

All,

We’ll meet on this when I get in. The gist of it is that every Monday afternoon starting next Monday, 9/30, and ending in May, from 3:00-6:00pm, General Patraeus will teach his honors course to his Macaulay students on the 16th floor in one of the conference rooms. Security will be increased. You should avoid scheduling any meetings on Monday afternoons on the 16th floor. Your CUNY ID will be required for admittance to the 16th floor on Monday afternoons.

We'll discuss later this morning.
Jeffrey


Update: CUNY spokesman Michael Arena tells Gawker:

Since the founding of MHC, seminars have been held at various venues aside from 67th Street. The college posted the 57th venue on the MHC homepage last week.

Best wishes

Michael Arena

(The homepage did not, however, explain that no other meetings could take place on the same floor, or that the move was due to security concerns.)

[Photo credit: Getty Images]

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