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OSU Police arrest 9 protesters outside Gee’s office

Mitch Andrews / Lantern photographer

Nine protesters were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing Monday afternoon outside Bricker Hall, where Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee’s office is located.

Seven of the nine people arrested are OSU students, said Deputy Chief Richard Morman of OSU Police Department.

The OSU chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops organized the protest. About 100 people gathered between Sullivant Hall and the Wexner Center at about 2 p.m. to protest an OSU contract with Sodexo Inc., an international food and facilities management company.

The protest then went mobile shortly after 2:30 p.m. as the crowd marched south on High Street before cutting back through campus toward Gee’s office. Several drummers and protesters with megaphones led chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Sodexo has got to go.”

About 40 protesters, including drummers and those with megaphones, entered Bricker and continued to chant.

The group chanted in the building for about a half-hour before OSU police informed them they were committing criminal trespass and would be arrested if they did not leave. Many students then left the building and continued to chant outside. At about 3:30 p.m. police handcuffed and led away nine protesters, who were still chanting.

The group was cooperative “other than being arrested,” said Captain Eric Whiteside of OSU police.

“Ohio State values diversity of thought and opinion and is a place where students can express their views,” said OSU spokesman Jim Lynch in an email. “Unfortunately, today’s protesters created a situation where OSU police needed to make arrests to ensure safety.”

A spokeswoman for Sodexo did not immediately return calls Monday afternoon.

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