Ohio State Turns the Concept of 'Safe Space' Against Student Protesters


The Atlantic:

Ohio State Turns the Concept of ‘Safe Space’ Against Student Protesters

At Ohio State last week, a sit-in and protest inside a university building was cut short when students were warned that they would be forcibly removed by police, arrested, and possibly expelled if they did not vacate the premises within a few hours, by 5 a.m.Here’s video of an administrative messenger relaying the warning to the protesters:
I’m usually skeptical of any decision to call the police on peaceful protesters or to expel students. The video itself doesn’t display any evidence that such actions were justified in this case, although the full facts of the incident are still emerging. And there’s a chance the administrators were bluffing.
Regardless, this video is noteworthy for two reasons. The first is the manner adopted by the main messenger, which is a common one for real-world authority figures—he is respectful, blunt, and not particularly apologetic or deferential—but I do not recall seeing other college administrators adopt it. His words:
If you are students, and I think the vast majority of you are, I want you to understand that you are violating the student code of conduct. As dictated to me by [university president] Dr. Drake 15 minutes ago to me on the phone, we have chosen to try to work with you this evening because we respect you. This is your university.
And we want to have dialogue. We want the dialogue to extend beyond tonight. But if you refuse to leave, then you will be charged with a student code of conduct violation.And I’m telling you this now because I want you to have good thought and careful consideration. If you’re here at 5 a.m. we will clear the building and you will be arrested. And we will give you the opportunity to go to jail for your beliefs. Our police officers will physically pick you up, take you to a paddywagon, and take you to be jail.
Lots of college administrators decide to clear protests with force—recall the pepper-spraying cop at UC Davis, for example—but taking a preemptive, hardline position, bluntly and transparently, is a striking departure from other occupations I’ve seen.
But I’m equally fascinated by the justification that the university’s messenger offers to the students to explain why Ohio State leaders decided on the hardline approach: He accuses the students of denying a safe space to the workers in the building!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Meaningless, unless it got results.





hardly meaningless, the guy explained the situation and then the possible consequences if they remained. Thus if any had stayed and were jailed for trespass, they would do so with full knowledge.


Did they respond positively, enter into the promised dialog, or continue wasting space with idle protest? Getting the whole story matters, not just the part you like.


since there is no talk of arrest, I would assume they left.
I agree the articles are poorly written for not making that point clear.


This is the way to do it. The administration let them have voice in the form of a peaceful sit in for a time. When it became clear the students planned on an extended stay, they were told the rules they were breaking, rules that they agreed to when applying and attending the University. They were then calmly told what the consequences would be, and given ample time to think it over.

No yelling, no pepper spray, no rubber bullets in the heat of the moment. If you lay it all out sanely, and you don’t let egos get in the way, and give people a chance to think about the consequences, or the potential benefits, common sense prevails.


At least some young people need to be reminded that other people exist. You can’t help but learn that lesson growing up in a large family, but large families are not in style now.


It did get results. The students began leaving in the early evening, and the last of them (25 or so) left shortly after midnight.



Great, proves the more flies with honey than vinegar saying! And that protests can be reasonable!


If the sit-in in no way interferes with the normal activity, then this could be considered peaceful.
OTOH, a sit-in, if it interferes with individuals trying to use the space for the activities it is intended for, is not peaceful. It is trespassing, and a violation of the rights of others. For example, if the sit-in is at the registrar’s office, and it prevents someone from taking care of business they may have at the registrar’s office, then it is not peaceful.



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