Following Occupy Harvard’s protest of a Goldman Sachs recruiting event Nov. 28, the firm canceled an information session for Brown students scheduled for last night. Hours before the event was scheduled to begin, the firm replaced its planned function at the CareerLAB with a webinar. The firm denied the move was made in response to the recent protests.
A Goldman representative sent an email to students who had RSVP’d for the event saying the in-person event had been canceled to offer “a more in-depth presentation.”
Another representative wrote in an email to The Herald that Goldman Sachs abandoned the session “due to attendance.”
But Julian Park ’12, an Occupy College Hill organizer, said he believes finance firms are “really thinking twice about recruiting on campus” because of demonstrations like the protest at Harvard last week.
Sandra Korn, a sophomore at Harvard and an Occupy Harvard organizer, said the Harvard demonstration began as a show of solidarity with protesters at the University of California at Davis and the University of California at Berkeley. When she and fellow Occupiers noticed students on their way to attend “Investment Banking 101,” a Goldman Sachs recruiting event that was about to begin at Harvard’s Office of Career Services, about 20 Occupiers followed along to test company representatives with “tough questions,” Korn said.
But Office of Career Services officials and Harvard University police officers refused to let the demonstrators in, Korn said. “You’re not dressed right,” she recalled one official saying.
Park, a former Herald opinions columnist, said Occupy College Hill had not planned a demonstration in advance for Goldman’s withdrawn Brown event. But he said when he saw the announcement in yesterday’s Morning Mail, he thought, “Damn, we should definitely go to that!”
Park said he was unsure of the extent of Occupy College Hill’s effect on the decision to cancel the event. But even if anticipated low attendance was the reason for Goldman’s scuttling of the session, decreased interest in the firm is a good sign for Occupiers, he said.
He added that he could not imagine a Goldman Sachs campus information session being canceled due to low attendance a year ago.