Home » Campus » Faculty members pen letter of solidarity following #ReclaimOSU protest

Faculty members pen letter of solidarity following #ReclaimOSU protest

Please follow and like us:
Facebook
Google+
Twitter

A group of faculty members at Ohio State have drafted a letter of solidarity on Thursday claiming they stand with the students who staged a sit-in at Bricker Hall Wednesday night. They intend to present the letter and accompanying signatures to University President Michael Drake.

The writers of the letter condemned members of OSU’s administration for the way they reportedly handled the situation.

At 8 p.m. the OSU Police Twitter account tweeted that “accommodations (have been) made for #ReclaimOSU students already inside to stay overnight” and that they “can leave at any time.”

Despite that tweet, some students claimed they were threatened with expulsion or removal by force.

“To deal with a peaceful student protest with police is shameful. To try to starve students out of a building is an embarrassment,” the letter states. “To threaten expulsion for civil disobedience is unethical.“

At 2:20 p.m., the letter had more than 130 signatures from staff, faculty and graduate students. Signatures are still being added.

Student organizations involved in the sit-in on Wednesday night included Real Food OSU, United Students Against Sweatshops, Still We Rise, OSU Coalition for Black Lives and the Committee for Justice in Palestine. The organizations rallied behind the hashtag #ReclaimOSU on Twitter.

Real Food OSU and OSU Divest said they want OSU to provide full access to the annual budget and a financial adviser to detail exactly where those funds are being spent and what corporations OSU is supporting.

The coalition’s second demand is that the administration agrees to one of the three campaigns proposed by different organizations — Real Food OSU, United Students Against Sweatshops or OSU Divest — as a sign of good faith to continue working with the coalition, as stated in its press release.

Leslie Alexander, an associate professor in African American and African studies whose name appears among the list of those standing in support of the students, said the goal is to get as many signatures as possible before the students hold a press conference outside Bricker Hall so that students would be aware of the degree of faculty support.

“We’re still in the process of collecting signatures. We’re getting quite a lot,” she said at about 2:30 p.m., adding that signatures will probably continue to be collected if new signatories continue to show support.

“The more faculty members you have who are willing to acknowledge the fact that it’s inappropriate for the administration to use violence and intimidation toward students, the more attention it will hopefully bring to the issue,” she said.

Following the sit-in, at about 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, the university said in a statement, “after repeated discussions and warnings, the group chose to disperse on their own volition. They were not removed.”

That statement also said OSU made accommodations for students to assemble peacefully, noting that Bricker Hall closes at 5:30 p.m. and that students were able to leave the building at their will.

“Ohio State has a vibrant community of students, faculty and staff who work together through an active and effective structure of shared governance,” the statement said. “The methods employed by this group were outside the scope of permitted practices. We actively encourage dialogue with students on a wide variety of issues. We remain committed to all parties interested in meaningful discourse and in contributing to the excellence of our university.”

Update April 7: This story was updated at 3:35 p.m. on April 7.

15 comments

  1. It is kind of absurd that a a few, very small groups are attempting to speak for the entire student body. These small groups are making demands on behalf of all of us, but really, do we even care about their meaningless causes?

    • The hawks should bench you

    • The name of them groups sound like they are all from other countries! Sadly these same students are going to be low paid activist all their lives since they waste an opportunity to get an education needed to do anything except flip burger! Screw them! Hope they have high student laons too and will regret the waste of their time they should have been in class!

  2. “Despite that tweet, some students claimed they were threatened with expulsion or removal by force.”

    Check your sourcing and your phrasing. There is no “claim” involved–there is ACTUAL video of administrators threatening to use force, arrest, and expel students. You have a duty to report accurately. Please do it.

  3. The Real Ohio State, Inc (tm)

    What is absurd about it? They’re standing up for fundamental human interests, like not exploiting poor people in other countries.

    Just because you may not agree with their causes does not make them meaningless.

    • Serious question, is one of the proposed plans to cut ties with Nike? All I have been seeing are companies that support Israel, which is an insanely complicated issue I really don’t think a couple hundred students should have the authority to legislate on. I haven’t seen Nike’s name mentioned once and we have the largest collegiate contract with Nike. They are known for their sweatshops too.

      • Why would they go against Nike, if they did then that would affect them on a materialistic level. There causes are meaningless because if they did it right it would be to cut ties with all corporations that commit this kind of treatment such as using sweat shops. They can just pick and choose as they see fit which is why no one will take them seriously.

  4. The Real Ohio State, Inc (tm)

    Here’s a disclaimer: I’m an alumnus who is disgusted by the corporate vultures picking the corpse of the former Ohio State University.

    The serious answer to your question is: hopefully, yes. One of the basic strategies used by corporations at institutions like universities is to create a captive market by using contracts. Companies like Coke, Nike, and the like avoid market discipline by making their access exclusive.

    If you believe in capitalism, it’s bad for the consumer because it eliminates competition.

    Reversing these trends will take time, at the minimum until the contracts expire. I don’t see any early buy-outs.

    The remark on materialism is weak rhetoric and a non-sequitur, not to mention an ad hominem attack.

    The over-arching issue is what you see in the video of the interaction between administration and the protesters. As gov’t funds dwindle, tuition dollars become even more important. The administration wants to do what it wants, when it wants with tuition dollars. And don’t question it. Under threat of legal (arrest) and administrative (expulsion) consequences.

    But those are the student’s dollars, and you do have a right to know what’s going on. If you choose to put it on auto-pilot and just trust the administration to do what’s in your best interests, that’s your call.

    But backlash against others who protest the cowardly corporate tactics used by this administration, it’s curious at the least.

    Virtually all other organizations are subject to scrutiny and oversight. Shareholders question corporate operations. Governments are accountable. Why does Ohio State feel that they are exempt?

    • You state “Why does Ohio State feel that they are exempt? They don’t have that “feeling”. Rather, in fact, they ARE exempt and the facts substantiate that. To wit, when you have armed police forces on YOUR side, and other “authorities” backing you up, not to mention access to financial and other material resources, you ARE exempt!!! And, in fact, the WHOLE PURPOSE of the Administrator articulating the threats, designed to cut off the PUBLIC debate, was to MAINTAIN that exemption! Historically, serious power struggles are not settled with mere polite conversation. The Walton family has more wealth than the bottom 40% of the U.S. population. You think “democracy” will put an end to that? It won’t, if history is any guide. That’s why, by the way, Bernie Sanders is calling for a revolution. He’s not stupid…he knows something about “history”. At any rate, getting back to exemptions, there is no feeling…the notion is irrelevant and a distraction. The fact of the matter is they ARE exempt and THAT is precisely the problem!!!

    • Well duh, because they are backed politically and financially by those that run the show: Semites.

  5. Chicken and Waffles

    Such passionate and righteous students! They should boycott Apple and stop using their iPhones since they are made in China in abusive, quasi-slavery conditions.

  6. Silly students. You can mess with white Gentiles, but you cannot mess with Jews. That is when you will be shut down.

    Zionists are destroying Europe and the Middle East. They run circles around everyone. Watch here:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iV3HCMW5LJE

  7. Hallelujah! At long last college administrators stood up to these little twerps who apparently don’t have classes to go to or exams to study for.
    These miniscule groups with their contrived grievances do not represent the student body. They are self-centered babies who are beinig played, and egged-on, by their hippie professors. Professors who get to keep their jobs when the dust settles. While the students have added some very unfortunate video for future potential employers to see.

    • Well said. Students are there to study, the vast bulk seeking only a fine education. Disruption of the educational process should not be allowed, and all students that disrupt the University should be shown the door. The University doesn’t have to do business with such students, and they can just go find another university that will put up with their garbage.

      And if any faculty support campus disruption, they should be replaced… so that education… the only reason for the University to exist at all, can commence in earnest, on behalf of the vast majority of students.

      I wish those precious snowflakes decided to stay and test the University. The mug shots would have been priceless.

  8. Unless these situations occur regularly at OSU – this is a video of the incident:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__iQGa0OkIs&nohtml5=False).

    This is the code of conduct being mentioned: (http://studentlife.osu.edu/csc/)

    The video shows these, presumed, students being threatened with expulsion and potentially lethal physical harm by two, presumed, administrators trying to extort them into “political obedience”.

    Best case – the President and the two administrators shown are “transferred” (fired).

    Worst case – OSU is federally sanctioned and loses its access to public funds.

    Sad case – this type of abuse against campus attendees is pervasive in higher education and many lives have ended because of it over the years.

    Michael Huson: huson.4@osu.edu: might want to update their article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.