Statement on SDS Protest and Sit-in

Students for a Democratic Society held a rally that entered Chapman Hall shortly before noon Friday, Feb. 9. SDS refused to leave unless they met with the chancellor. As a result of this disruption, the building was closed, staff were escorted from the building and UWM Police declared an unlawful assembly. One protester was arrested and cited for urinating in a building stairwell. Four protesters were arrested and cited for refusing to leave after the building’s posted closing time. 

The chancellor was not on campus, as he was in Madison for the Board of Regents meeting. As requested, the chancellor agreed to schedule a meeting with SDS, but due to the complexities of his schedule, a specific date and time has yet to be determined. SDS refused to leave without knowing a specific meeting date and time.

Although SDS has said in written materials that the UWM administration refused to meet with them previously, SDS members were referred to the dean of students for a meeting to discuss the group’s concerns but have not scheduled a meeting with the dean. 

UWM has a responsibility to allow free speech on our campus, and SDS has held several protests on campus this academic year. But demonstrations cannot disrupt classes or normal university operations, and the occupation of a campus building is unlawful.