Ike-Related Power Outages Prompt Student Sit-in

With many off-campus facilities still without electricity, 3,000 students protest classes.

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Students at Miami University in Ohio organized a Monday sit-in on the president's lawn, protesting the return to classes Tuesday, chanting "How can we study if we can't see?" and "No power, no class." The campus had not had power since Sunday, after a Hurricane Ike-related windstorm knocked out electricity in the Oxford and Cincinnati areas. Class on Monday had already been cancelled, the Miami Student reports.

Protesting students complained that they didn't receive sufficient guidance on where to shower and study during the power outage. "We just wanted to talk, we wanted some reasons," said one of the protest organizers. "We thought they were only focusing on on-campus students, when most of the campus doesn't live on campus."

The sit-in was planned as a small event, but thanks to some virulent word-of-mouth advertising, the event ballooned to include around 3,000 students, police estimate.

The protest turned somewhat violent at times and did not result in the cancellation of classes. The university did, however, start a blog for students to address concerns and suggest ideas.

Several other Midwest schools, mostly in Indianaand Kentucky, have been affected, including the flooded Indiana University-Northwest and Purdue University-Calumet campuses, as well as Hanover College and four Ivy Tech Community College campuses, which lost power and suffered building damage because of winds. The University of Louisville cancelled class between 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday to clean up debris, while nearby Bellarmine University has closed the campus through Thursday because it still did not have power.