Student Protesters Occupy EMU Student Center Overnight
A five hour sit-in demonstration on the Eastern Michigan University Campus ended early this morning. Some 70 students gathered at the Student Center at the 1AM closing time. When the Student Center re-opened at 6am, the sit-in ended and the students dispersed. WEMU's David Fair spoke to EMU media relations director Geoff Larcom about the protest.
The student sit-in was organized after another incident of offensive, racially-charged graffiti was discovered on campus Monday morning. The message on the exterior wall of Ford Hall followed two other such graffiti incidents in late September.
Geoff Larcom is Eastern Michigan University’s Executive Director of Media Relations. He says the sit-in was peaceful, and no arrests were made. Larcom says occupying the Student Center during closed hours is a violation of the student code of conduct and constitutes trespassing. He would not speculate as to whether involved students may face disciplinary action.
The student sit-in this morning precedes a faculty led rally scheduled to begin at 11 this morning outside of Ford Hall. The rally is aimed at standing up against racism and as a show of support for black students and employees on campus.
After the latest graffiti incident on Monday, EMU Administrators said a campus forum would be scheduled for later in the week, but a day, time and location have not yet been announced.
The EMU Faculty Senate has also scheduled a campus teach-in on race and culture November 14th. on campus.
The university has upped its reward to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the graffiti incidents.