Ohio State Shuts Down Student Occupation after Arrests, Expulsion Threatened
A student sit-in at Ohio State University was shut down last week when a senior administrator informed the participants that they would be arrested and expelled if they didn’t retreat from their “occupied space” in the area outside of President Michael V. Drake's second-floor office.
The incident happened at Bricker Hall, Ohio State’s main administration building, which the students planned to occupy until school officials capitulated to a set of "demands." According to the Columbus Dispatch, the site became an "open mic" situation for about eight hours last Wednesday night, with dozens of students, faculty, and several advocacy groups participating.
They complained that university officials don't listen to them and have silenced them; officials say they have talked many times with the leaders of the groups, and that the protesters just don't like the answer.
University officials say the occupation began with about 80 people at around 3:30 p.m.; a statement from one of the organizers said it was about 150.
Their list of demands included:
We demand complete, comprehensive and detailed access to the Ohio State budget and investments immediately, as well as personnel to aid students in understanding this information.
OSU Divest: Divest from Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and G4S due to their involvement in well-documented human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and across the globe. . .
Real Food OSU: Sign the Real Food Campus Commitment. Ensure the administration work with Real Food OSU through the entire implementation of the Real Food Campus Commitment, in place of, or as a means of attaining, the university sustainability goal of increased “production and purchase of locally and sustainably sourced food to 40% by 2025.”
Ohio State Vice President Jay Kasey paid the protesters a visit shortly after the occupation began, with a message from the president.
"Dr. Drake will never receive a list of demands and he will not negotiate with you," Kasey calmly informed the group before moving on to the next part of his conversation, which included the university's own list of demands.
"If you refuse to leave, then you will be charged with a student code of conduct violation," Kasey said. "If you are here at 5:00 a.m. we will clear the building and you will be arrested." He added, "We will give you the opportunity to go to jail for your beliefs."
"What do you mean by 'clear the building?'" one of the stunned students asked.
Kasey didn't mince words: "Our police officers will physically pick you up and take you to a paddy wagon," he answered. "The people who work in this building should be protected also."
This alarmed the crybullies, who didn't think they had done anything wrong. "How are we threatening them?" one of them asked innocently.
"Do you all remember when you made the rush down there and chanted to the folks outside the doors?" Kasey reminded them. "That scared people."
The room erupted at that point with many occupiers speaking at once and one female voice piping in with a whine about "police officers with guns," the point being that the cops are the scary ones -- while they are peaceful protesters fighting for justice and sustainable food, etc. etc....
Kasey had little patience for it. "We told you, and all we can do is be honest with you. If you're still here at 5:00, our current philosophy is, we are going to take you out -- escort you out of the building and arrest you. You will be discharged from school also," he noted.
Confused, one of the students asked, "discharged as in...?"
"Expelled," Kasey answered flatly.
Most of the snowflakes bugged out in the early evening (dinner time), with the remaining occupiers complaining that administrators Jay Casey, Mark Evans, and President Drake were "starving the student activists by not allowing food into the building." An activist wrote on the Afrikan Black Coalition blog that "there are reports that police officers have knocked down food that was to be delivered to activists."
The final group of about 25 occupiers left at about 12:30 a.m., a university official told the Columbus Dispatch.
Universities across the nation that have been under siege by crybullies with ridiculous lists of "demands" could learn a thing or two from Ohio State's example.