ATHENS, OH (WCMH) — Approximately 70 people were arrested after protesters converged on Baker Center at Ohio University, Wednesday.
A group called Ohio University Student Union posted on Facebook Wednesday evening that they would stay in Baker Center until the university met demands of becoming a sanctuary campus.
The group said on Facebook:
WE ARE PREPARED TO STAY IN BAKER UNIVERSITY CENTER UNTIL OHIO UNIVERSITY MEETS OUR DEMANDS OF BECOMING A SANCTUARY CAMPUS:
1. Ohio University must make a statement condemning the immigration ban and develop a plan to make Ohio U a sanctuary campus.
2. Include “immigration status” as a protective class (along with race, gender, etc.) under the definition of harassment, discrimination and hate crime policies at Ohio University.
3. DO NOT ALLOW CONCEALED CARRY WEAPONS ON CAMPUS This is NOT about trying to take away gun rights. This about keeping class discussion open and safe.
According to the university, officials tried to arrange an alternate space for the protest that would not interfere with university operations.
The university issued the following statement:
Disruption of University operations is unlawful. With safety and security at the forefront of all concerned, OUPD and University administration worked together to arrange an alternate space for protestors to gather that would protect students, faculty and staff. In addition, alternate space allocated would not block ingress and egress from Baker Center and would allow for University operations to continue uninterrupted. Protestors gathered at Baker Center at approximately 5:30 pm. Protestors were informed repeatedly that they were impacting operations, egress and creating a safety issue. At approximately 7:22 p.m. OUPD Chief Andrew Powers delivered his first warning that anyone refusing to leave would be arrested within the hour. They were given ample opportunity and time to relocate, and at 7:58 p.m. OUPD began arresting anyone who refused to leave. Approximately 70 protestors were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.