Students host ‘study-in’ outside Gabel’s office

The students were calling for the University to disarm its police department and increase the diversity of its student body.

From left, Eric Dorland, Olivia Crull, Étienne Magdalen and Sondos Ibrahin congregate for a sit-in protest outside President Joan Gabel's office on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The group, representing Students for a Democratic Society, studied and shared donuts and coffee in the office lobby. (Liam Armstrong / Minnesota Daily)

From left, Eric Dorland, Olivia Crull, Étienne Magdalen and Sondos Ibrahin congregate for a sit-in protest outside President Joan Gabel’s office on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The group, representing Students for a Democratic Society, studied and shared donuts and coffee in the office lobby. (Liam Armstrong / Minnesota Daily)

Natalie Rademacher

Textbooks in hand, members of the student group Students for a Democratic Society held a sit-in outside University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel’s office Friday morning.

The students are calling for the University to disarm the University Police Department and increase the diversity of the student population. The sit-in is part of a broader campaign by the student group this year to demand action by the University. 

“This is essentially a reminder that we expect these demands to be met,” said Jackson Bianchi, an organizer for the event. 

Instead of a traditional sit-in, students brought homework and call the event a “study-in”. 

Around eight students sat in the lobby outside Gabel’s office with signs printed with words like “Disarm UMPD.” 

Members of SDS are demanding the University administration take action to increase enrollment from underrepresented communities and disarm UMPD. 

“The goal is to occupy space … to keep it chill and study,” said Jack Nimz, another SDS member who organized the event. 

Attendees snacked on Halloween-themed donuts and coffee as they studied. 

First-year student Étienne Magdalen took the studying aspect of the study-in seriously. 

“I have a midterm in half an hour,” Magdalen said, looking over his textbook. “I agree with the resolutions [from SDS], I just have to balance social justice with school.”