Police arrested 13 protesters Monday evening after a seven-hour "sit-in" at the office of University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. The students went to the office Monday afternoon to protest what they say is his lack of commitment to diversity on campus.
They were arrested at about 8 p.m. after they refused police orders to leave Morrill Hall, where Kaler's office is located, and they were taken from the scene in police vehicles.
The university released a statement Monday evening saying police warned the students several times that they would be trespassing if they didn't leave the building by 6 p.m., according to The St. Paul Pioneer Press.
They were given a choice to receive a ticket or be arrested, the paper notes.
About a dozen students went into Kaler's office after a rally and march earlier in the day by a larger group of students carrying signs criticizing Kaler for not following through on promises to increase the number of faculty and staff of color, according to the Murphy News Service, written by journalism students at the school.
The students, from the group “Whose Diversity?,” gathered in front of Coffman Memorial Union and marched over to Morrill Hall.
One of their major demands is for an increase in the number of faculty in the Chicano and Latino Studies department.
Kaler spoke to the students (shown in the photo below), according to university spokesman Steve Henneberry, but he did not comment on what was discussed, the Minnesota Daily reports.
The university released a statement Monday afternoon which said, in part:
"The University of Minnesota supports the right of free speech and peaceful protest and believes constructive, frank conversations are vital for addressing issues that affect the campus community. We share a deep and urgent commitment to increasing faculty, staff and student diversity and to creating a community that welcomes and embraces all experiences and perspectives."
Some of the group's other demands include the removal of suspects’ race from campus crime alerts, a plan for increasing the number of students of color on campus and that each campus building have at least one gender-neutral bathroom.