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Ohio State Students ‘Occupy the Oval’
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A movement that originated on Wall Street made its way to Ohio State University this afternoon. Dozens of students and staff members occupied the Oval to express grievances against the university.
â€œNo wetlands pipeline, no Cowboys merchandise, no tuition and debt hikes and no parking and research privatization,” third-year student Andrew Lin read.
While these were Linâ€™s grievances with Ohio State, they were the consensus of the Occupy the Oval rally. As a student, Lin lists tuition increases and student loan debt as his top concern. But he also opposes corporate involvement in university projects.
â€œTheyâ€™re trying to privatize our parking as well as our research. I think GE just made a deal with the business college and theyâ€™re funding research there,” he said.
Ohio State will receive $10 million for a multi-year research project with General Electric.
First-year PhD student Haley Swenson said she thinks the university is run more like a corporation than a public institution.
â€œWe see that in the privatization of parking, increases in fees and tuition every year. Sort of getting the most labor for the cheapest price and thatâ€™s for graduate students as well as staff who work on campus. I think theyâ€™re trying to give us the most affordable education for them, but charging us exorbitant amounts of prices for it,” Swenson said.
OSU officials said they had not planned a formal response to the Occupy the Oval rally, and said the university supports studentsâ€™ free speech rights. Occupy the Oval organizers said they will submit to President Gee a list of changes they want made on campus.