Security escorts SunriseMSU for divestment protest at Spartan Stadium

A protest by student organizers with MSU’s chapter of the Sunrise Movement was stopped by Spartan Stadium security during MSU’s final home game against Indiana.

During the game, Sunrise students stood at the top of the stands and unraveled banners reading “NO OIL MONEY” and “TRUSTEES: DIVEST NOW.”

Their protest is part of the group’s larger push for full divestment from fossil fuels by MSU’s Office of Investments and the board’s investment committee.

Comparative cultures and politics sophomore Jesse Estrada-White said that they stood with the signs visible for about ten minutes before the intervention. However, it may have felt longer than it truly was, “given the cold.”

Estrada-White said at that point, a member of stadium security approached them and told them he would confiscate the banners. 

Estrada-White said he then stepped aside to talk to the security guard in hopes of stalling him “as long as possible,” but that the guard was insistent that they had violated university policy and would have to forfeit the signs.

“He just kept saying ‘it’s university policy,’ that he got orders directly from the top management,” Estrada-White said, “‘Up in the tower,’ were the words he used.”

Eventually, Estrada-White said organizers gave security the banners and followed the guard down through the stadium. The guard then threw the banners in the trash, and when Sunrise organizers went to retrieve them, Estrada-White said they “got kicked out; they basically told us we had to leave.”

MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen said that based on his talks with Spartan Stadium management, the Sunrise students were permitted to stay at the game as long as they gave up their signs.

“The students were not asked to leave the stadium,” Olsen said….

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