More than 50 San Francisco State University students occupied the hallway outside the offices of the university’s president, Les Wong, on Thursday to demand affordable housing, free transportation and additional services — including more counselors— for students.
The sit-in was staged to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the university’s 1968 student-led strike, which stretched from November until March and is recorded as the longest campus strike in U.S. history.
Dozens of students marched out of classrooms at noon on Thursday, en route to rally at the university’s administration building at 1900 Holloway Ave., a student who participated in the action told the San Francisco Examiner.
At least 50 students entered the building and for several hours occupied a hallway leading to Wong’s office to “make some demands about things that we need to be fixed on campus,” said the student, who declined to give her name.
Several students remained after university administrators informed them that Wong was not present on campus Thursday, demanding a meeting with the university’s leadership. A student liaison eventually agreed to discuss the students’ list of demands with Wong and schedule a follow-up meeting with several student advocates next week.
Police officers and a fire marshal arrived at the scene, but no arrests were made, the student said.
Several classes were cancelled Thursday due to the students’ strike, confirmed SF State Vice President of External Affairs, Garrick Wilhelm.
SF State Spokesperson Jesse Cantley said in a statement that the university supports the students’ right to protest and free speech.
“The 50th anniversary of the 1968 strike is a significant milestone in our University’s history. Despite the turbulence of that time, the seeds were sown for SF State’s College of Ethnic Studies and other ethnic studies programs across the country,” said Cantley. “We are proud of the positive and irrevocable impact the College has had on countless students, members of the community, and on the face of higher education.”