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Students hold sit-in at U. Minnesota president’s office to demand campus cops be disarmed

A whopping eight University of Minnesota students held a sit-in at President Joan Gabel’s office on Friday to demand the disarmament of campus police.

They also demanded an “increase [in] the diversity of the student population,” for what it’s worth.

The protest by the Students for a Democratic Society kept alive the (former) issue from over a year ago, when almost double the number of Friday’s total demonstrated outside of UMPD headquarters.

According to the Minnesota Daily, the activists cleverly referred to their protest as a “study-in” because, after all, besides maintaining social justice bonafides, students are still responsible for doing classwork and taking exams!

From the story:

The sit-in is part of a broader campaign by the student group this year to demand action by the University.

“This is essentially a reminder that we expect these demands to be met,” said Jackson Bianchi, an organizer for the event. …

“The goal is to occupy space … to keep it chill and study,” said Jack Nimz, another SDS member who organized the event.

Attendees snacked on Halloween-themed donuts and coffee as they studied.

First-year student Étienne Magdalen took the studying aspect of the study-in seriously.

“I have a midterm in half an hour,” Magdalen said, looking over his textbook. “I agree with the resolutions [from SDS], I just have to balance social justice with school.”

In its report on the 2018 protest, the Daily notes the last time a UM police officer actually fired a weapon was in 2012 —  and that was to put a dying raccoon out of its misery. At that demonstration, the SDS handed out fliers asserting the UMPD possesses 57 automatic rifles and “spends $500,000 per year on new arms and supplies.”

And not that it would necessarily mean anything substantive, but even the UM student government disagrees with the SDS; last year, a resolution to disarm campus cops was defeated by almost 400 votes.

Read the article.

MORE: UC Davis police chief decries resolution to disarm campus cops

MORE: University of Chicago students demand campus police be disarmed

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.