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U-M Board of Regents statement on GEO actions

Thursday evening, unruly GEO protesters came dangerously close to violence.

They stormed a local Ann Arbor restaurant where President Santa J. Ono was meeting students for dinner.

This important engagement was immediately derailed as protesters banged on the windows of the restaurant and then blocked a U-M Police vehicle from taking the president to safety, while pounding on the vehicle. Two offenders were detained.

This type of threatening behavior is wholly unacceptable.

We call on GEO leaders to stop actively disrupting the education of their fellow students, cease harassing our president and come to the bargaining table ready to recommit themselves to the critically important collective bargaining process.

While thousands of their fellow U-M students are dedicating themselves to closing out the academic year, GEO protesters have abandoned their classroom and resorted to name calling, banging on restaurant windows and hosting dance parties.

Earlier in the day Thursday, fire alarms were pulled in two campus classroom buildings around the same time, further disrupting the educational progress of undergraduate students taking their final exams. U-M Police are working to identify the perpetrators of these crimes.

This conduct that endangers safety and is designed to intimidate must stop.

The only way to achieve any of the goals GEO has outlined in its bargaining platform is to focus their efforts on bargaining. Real collective bargaining.

Even today, after 27 sessions of contract talks and three weeks of a strike, GEO has yet to offer any counteroffer to its unrealistic demand of a 60% salary increase in the first year of a new contract.

GEO members must take their role in the campus community seriously.

Members of the U-M Board of Regents:

Jordan B. Acker

Michael J. Behm

Mark J. Bernstein

Paul W. Brown

Sarah Hubbard

Denise Ilitch

Ron Weiser

Katherine E. White