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Macalester students occupying president's office, demanding college dump Wells Fargo [PHOTOS]

Students occupying Weyerhaeuser Hall say they won't leave willingly until Mac shifts its business to a community bank.
Students occupying Weyerhaeuser Hall say they won't leave willingly until Mac shifts its business to a community bank.

This afternoon, a group of roughly a dozen Macalester students are occupying college president Brian Rosenberg's office and demanding the college cut ties with Wells Fargo.

:::: UPDATE :::: Macalester students end sit-in; administration refuses to dump Wells Fargo

Other students are rallying outside, and this afternoon some faculty members and community members are set to speak at an event in front of the college's administrative building, Weyerhaeuser Hall.

Macalester sophomore Cynthia Scott, 20, is one of the occupiers. From inside Weyerhaeuser Hall early this afternoon, she said that she and other students plan to occupy President Rosenberg's office "until the administration agrees to cut the contract or we're removed."

That, of course, means missing class, but Scott explained that "a lot of professors are supportive of what we're doing and where we are and what's happening."

Scott said that late this morning, President Rosenberg emerges from his office and told protesters he'll be headed to Chicago for a couple days. Still, the occupiers are undeterred.

"We're not leaving the building, so this issue isn't going away," Scott said. "Business as usual won't be able to continue."

Scott said a security guard and one administrator are watching over the students, who are allowed to leave the building but can't reenter once they do so.

Here are a couple photos taken inside Weyerhaeuser Hall today:

Macalester students occupying president's office, demanding college dump Wells Fargo [PHOTOS]
Luke Mielke
Macalester students occupying president's office, demanding college dump Wells Fargo [PHOTOS]
Sarah Knispel

A press release details the students' specific beef with Wells Fargo and their connection to other organizations:

The student campaign is linked to Occupy Homes MN's efforts to mobilize homeowners to defend homes from foreclosure by big banks like Wells Fargo. The students are also members of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, a coalition that brings together faith, labor, and community groups who recognize that big banks stand in the way of every Minnesotan's future.

"The housing crisis has left families homeless and drained our communities of wealth," said Rebecca Hornstein, who was arrested in February with three other Macalester students protesting Wells Fargo's policies. "In Minnesota, Wells Fargo has foreclosed on more homes than any other bank. Instead of implementing common sense solutions such as principal reduction on underwater homes to end the housing crisis, Wells Fargo continues to make record profits while refusing to give back to the community that bailed them out."...

Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus is a coalition of Macalester College students dedicated to ending their school's relationship with Wells Fargo. The campaign is part of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and the national student group United Students Against Sweatshops.

Specifically, the students want Macalester to move its business out of Wells Fargo and into a community bank.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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