Occupy Higher Ed: Movement Spreads from Wall Street to the Campus Green

Article excerpt

THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT THAT HAS SWEPT THE nation--and the world--also has a home at many colleges and universities. Long associated with protests, and historically touted as the home of open discourse, American colleges and universities have had a difficult balancing act on their hands: how to promote free speech while maintaining safety on campus.

This issue gained attention after members of the University of California, Davis Police Department pepper sprayed student protestors on November 18--an incident for which University of California President Mark G. Yudof has since created a task force to investigate.

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs at Duke, says the campus is the place where protests like the Occupy movement are expected to happen.

Students at Duke set up tents and banners in front of the campus chapel in October. Moneta says Occupy Duke served as a center of the conversation--about economic disparity and other related issues--for the 30 students who regularly slept in the tents and many others as they walked by the centrally-located encampment.

"In the great spirit of dialogue and social issues that are often responded to first on campuses, this seemed a very reasonable thing for us to permit. …