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EMU drops sanctions against student protesters

Feb 2, 2017

Eastern Michigan University has dropped sanctions against 16 students who participated in peaceful protests last November. 

The students were protesting multiple instances of racially insensitive graffiti on campus by participating in a sit-in at the University Black Student Union. After defying police orders to leave when the building closed, the university imposed sanctions ranging from formal reprimands to recommendations of expulsion. 

EMU officially dropped these punishments after growing frustration and pressure from the student body in the weeks following the incident.

Jaren Johnson is President of EMU Black Student Union which helped lead the protests. While he is happy everyone can move forward, he believes the administration took too long to reverse the sanctions.

"It seems like the process inherently goes against the rights of students to protest," he said. "It was really hard to see whether or not any of them truthfully stood with us students."

In a statement released by EMU  President James Smith, he applauded the students and acknowledged their right to protest.

He said the administration will continue to work to find those responsible for the vandalism last year.