University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

September 22, 2017

Regents 'deeply disappointed' by aggressive protesters

April 16, 2015

Regents 'deeply disappointed' by aggressive protesters

Topic: Regents

Note: This story has been edited to add details from the protest.

Members of the University of Michigan's governing board spoke out against a protest that disrupted the start of Thursday's Board of Regents meeting in the Michigan Union, calling it misguided and damaging to the cause of the protesters.

About 15 protesters surged toward the board table, toppling the media table and knocking laptops and personal items to the floor. U-M police officers quickly stepped in to stop the protesters.

Division of Public Safety and Security spokesperson Diane Brown reported that eight protesters were arrested. One of those arrested may be a U-M student. No one reported significant injuries.

The protestors made no specific statements prior to rushing university leaders just seconds into the meeting, so the issues they wanted to bring up were unclear. It appeared they were part of an ongoing effort pushing for larger minority enrollment at U-M.

During the scuffle, and later in the hallway outside the meeting, protesters chanted, "Minority enrollment's going down. Open it up or we'll shut it down." Some carried signs calling for action to increase minority enrollment.

Once protesters were escorted from the meeting room, the meeting resumed after a 10-minute delay and was completed as scheduled. The protesters' chants from the hallway could be heard through the remainder of the meeting.

Regent Mark Bernstein said he was "deeply disappointed" by the protesters. He called their actions "misguided and damaging to their cause, adding that their actions were a "great disservice to an important cause" of increasing minority enrollment.

Regent Andrea Fischer Newman said the action today "turned the story away from what is most important" on a serious issue.

President Mark Schlissel ended the meeting by thanking DPSS personnel for managing the protesters and reiterating the university's long-standing commitment to enrolling a diverse student body.

"I hope we will strive toward civil discourse and constructive action. The university's commitment to diversity does not waver and I'm pleased with how the university has come together to undertake the work of developing a campuswide diversity strategic plan," Schlissel said.

Comments

Charles Brooks
on 4/17/15 at 6:25 am

This is extremely poor reporting. Why were the protestors there? Were they given an opportunity to make their concerns voiced?

Claire Zimmerman
on 4/17/15 at 7:25 am

I agree--you do not want to give the impression that you might be suppressing relevant information, I assume. To refuse to state what happened gives the reasder the impression that you devalue it, editorially. What were their concerns? Why were they there?

Karla Passalacqua
on 4/17/15 at 8:10 am

Yes, I agree with the above comments. What was the issue at hand? What exactly happened?

Adrienne Young
on 4/17/15 at 8:14 am

I agree with the above comments. All I gather from this is that the regents are responding spitefully to people who were mad about something, and that we're not supposed to know what they were mad at.

Joyce French
on 4/17/15 at 10:50 am

Spitefully?

Arnold Miller
on 4/17/15 at 8:25 am

If I were one of the regents I would be deeply disappointed in Rick Fitzgerald and the University Record. This article makes that body look small and ridiculously reactionary. But perhaps that was the record's real aim?

Lea Morello
on 4/17/15 at 9:11 am

I agree with the above. The only reason I clicked on the link was to read what they were protesting. What is being hidden?

Kim Kyro
on 4/17/15 at 9:12 am

It doesn't matter what the message was - the protesters behaved poorly and their behavior was unexcusable.

Jenni Sporer
on 4/27/15 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, the mLive article had more info.

Peggy Kahn
on 4/17/15 at 9:20 am

I also would have appreciated a fuller report.

James Iseler
on 4/17/15 at 9:53 am

Additional information about the protest has been added to this article.

Eric Burkman
on 4/17/15 at 4:07 pm

In the Schlissel quotation:
waver, not waiver

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