As it would turn out, one of the most basic acts of democracy and independence is being denied our populations. Scores of “entitled millennials” left their comfort zones in protest around the country on April 6. Duke, Ohio State, Appalachian State, University of Washington, St. Olaf all protested (along with others, I’m sure) about things which made a difference to their schools. On the list of protest debates were:
-House Bill 2 (The Transgender Discrimination Bill)
– Racism (at more than one school)
-Fiscal Transparency (at several schools)
-Energy Awareness and Ethical Usage
– Sexual Assault Policies
-Divesting in companies which are against helping Palestine and Israel
I’m quite sure there are other reasons for protesting, and have a few ideas myself, but I think that this is a good place to start.
I know that I was unaware of the fact that there was a protest, or you would have seen me amongst the group, behaving in a peaceful manner, as is my constitutional right. I cannot speak for the people of the other schools, or even other people besides myself, but I can tell you about what I know.
5:00PM April 6th, OSU campus police say that there are accommodations for protestors who plan to stay overnight in Bricker Hall. But within the span of a couple hours, all students were threatened with jail time and expulsion if they did not vacate. There is even a video showing a police officer shoving students out of the way (which I will link at the end). There were no accommodations, you see, as there was no air conditioning, no water and no food. Later, the following statement was issued:
“Ohio State has a vibrant community of students, faculty and staff who work together through an active and effective structure of shared governance. 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.”
Now, as a student who feels strongly about the state of the university that I pay money towards, I think that there is an exceptionally large line of political correctness here. I went over the student code of conduct, because I couldn’t imagine what type of rules would not allow peaceful protesting. Turns out, Ohio State’s rules. Behavior which is “inconvenient” and may be “interpreted” as being illegal are strictly prohibited. Over 40 year ago, students were gassed in front of the same building. It is literally against school rules to civilly disobey. And I find that to be in and of itself, unjustified. Turns out, so do a lot of professors. There is a “letter of solidarity” being signed by staff, faculty and GTAs of Ohio State, stating that the behavior towards the protesters was completely uncalled for. And I agree wholeheartedly.