Perhaps campus administrators are starting to learn their lesson. From Ohio State University comes the video of the day — an “actual grownup” (to borrow Ed Driscoll’s words) ordering campus protesters to end their unlawful “occupation” of the university’s administration building:
The protesters demands included the usual (and hilarious) potpourri of campus nonsense. Divest from this, invest in that, and stop all the oppression. This time, however, the administration was in no mood to negotiate.
Ohio State Vice President Jay Kasey paid the protesters a visit shortly after the occupation began, with a message from the president.
“Dr. Drake will never receive a list of demands and he will not negotiate with you,” Kasey calmly informed the group before moving on to the next part of his conversation, which included the university’s own list of demands.
This is where it gets good:
“If you refuse to leave, then you will be charged with a student code of conduct violation,” Kasey said. “If you are here at 5:00 a.m. we will clear the building and you will be arrested.” He added, “We will give you the opportunity to go to jail for your beliefs.”
“What do you mean by ‘clear the building?’” one of the stunned students asked.
Kasey didn’t mince words: “Our police officers will physically pick you up and take you to a paddy wagon,” he answered. “The people who work in this building should be protected also.”
He then explained to the incredulous protesters that they’d “scared” several of the employees and that university employees had the right to work without disruption and intimidation. The protesters objected (but one asked for the names of specific, complaining workers) to no avail:
Kasey had little patience for it. “We told you, and all we can do is be honest with you. If you’re still here at 5:00, our current philosophy is, we are going to take you out — escort you out of the building and arrest you. You will be discharged from school also,” he noted.
Confused, one of the students asked, “discharged as in…?”
“Expelled,” Kasey answered flatly.
To be clear, students have the First Amendment right to make all the idiotic demands they want to make, and they have a right to do so loudly and continuously in the campus’s public spaces. They do not, however, have the right to occupy public buildings and disrupt the work of the school. Disruption and occupation are acts of civil disobedience, and courageous protesters are willing to accept the consequences of their illegal behavior.
These protesters were not courageous. They vacated the premises by 12:30 a.m.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m proud of the Big 10 and ashamed of the SEC. Cowardly Missouri continues to pay the price for last year’s craven capitulation. The university has actually closed two dormitories because of enrollment declines and is battling through a $32 million budget shortfall.
We’re all Buckeye fans now — at least until football season.