Students arrested in Centennial Hall after sit-in

Students and residents arrive Centennial Hall Monday evening and discuss displacement in the surrounding communities of Georgia State Stadium, April 10, 2017. Photo by: Ethan Mitcham | The Signal

Students Patricio Rojas, Asma Elhuni, Sam Hogan, Lindsay Wilson and former state representative Doug Dean were arrested in Centennial Hall around 9 p.m. last night after staging a sit-in to demand Georgia State University President Mark Becker sign a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).

Members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) sit on a blanket and a pillow and say they won’t move until Georgia State University President Mark Becker signs a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) in Centennial Hall, April 10, 2017.
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Students with the university’s chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) have argued that a CBA would prevent displacement in the communities surrounding the Georgia State stadium, once the redevelopment and construction begins.

USAS has partnered up with residents from those communities and say they have been trying to meet with Dr. Becker to get him to sign, or at least negotiate, the agreement.

And Monday night, the students were determined to have a meeting, and announced they would not be leaving the building until they met with the president.

Asma Elhuni explains to Associate Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing Communications Andrea Jones why her and those who reside in the communities surrounding Georgia State stadium will not leave Centennial Hall, April 10, 2017.
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Centennial Hall, which houses the president’s office as well as the Honor’s College, is set to close at 5 p.m. every day. But Georgia State police said they wanted to give the protesters enough time to get their point across.

Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) Chief Joseph Spillane told The Signal the officers decided to give students and residents an ample amount of time to protest, but once they heard them talking about staying all night, they “had to make a decision”.

“I didn’t want to wait until the end of the night,” Spillane said. After 11 p.m. our force goes down, so we didn’t want to have to remove people at 3 a.m.”

He said once morning watch came around, with a decreased number of police officers on campus, he didn’t want to have some of them still stuck in Centennial Hall

All five people arrested were taken to Fulton County jail, and no one has been released yet.

Please check back for updates.