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FAQ on Student Arrests



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• President Casteen's proposals to students occupying Madison Hall lobby


How many students were arrested and on what charges?
Seventeen undergraduates were arrested at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, after four days of sitting in the lobby of Madison Hall, the administration building. All 17 were charged with criminal trespass. Additionally, one student was also charged with resisting arrest and another student had a second charge of vandalism.

Were the students offered an opportunity to leave the building without being arrested?
An announcement was made that the students could choose to leave the building during the next five minutes or face arrest. None chose to leave. Once the arrests began to be made, University police again offered each student another opportunity to leave rather than to be arrested.

Were the students permitted to have food during the sit-in?
When the students arrived in Madison Hall on Wednesday morning, they brought with them backpacks and sleeping bags and indicated that they had sufficient food with them. During the first two days of the sit-in, students informed supporters and the media that their food supply was adequate. On Friday, the students and their supporters began to indicate that they were running low on food. During a rally in front of the building on Friday afternoon, supporters were encouraged to bring food to the students. The food was left on the steps of Madison Hall where University police were restricting access to the building in order to allow business operations to continue by eliminating additional disruptions. When President Casteen met with students early Saturday morning, the question of food for the students arose at the conclusion of his hour and a half meeting with them. When he asked them whether or not they needed food to be brought to them, some answered that they did not and others said that they did. The president instructed University police to bring the food from Madison Hall steps into the building, to sort through it and organize it, and to give it to the students. That was done shortly after the formal meeting adjourned at about 3 a.m.

Why were the arrests made when they were?
When he came to meet with the students early Saturday morning, Casteen brought with him a set of proposals and asked that the students provide a response by the following afternoon at 2 p.m. At a 3 p.m. meeting on Saturday, the president asked if the students had a response to his proposals. They responded that they had unanimously decided that his proposals did not merit a response. The president determined at this point that the situation had reached an impasse and said that he hoped the students would leave the building soon. He wanted to allow ample time for them to decide to leave on their own before make the decision that the sit-in needed to end.

What is President's Casteen's statement about the arrests?
"We have called on many in the University community, including members of our University Police and Dean of Students Office, to work overtime and through the past few nights to ensure the safety of these students and the security of our facilities. It has come at a cost to their personal and family lives on this religious holiday weekend.  We believe it was important to bring this sit-in to conclusion so that others might get on with their lives and the staff of Madison Hall might be able to get back to work on Monday morning. The University takes no pleasure in having to arrest its own students, but it was time for the disruption to come to an end."

— April 16, 2006

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 10-May-2006 10:15:57 EDT
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