A Georgia State University student has been temporarily banned from campus. The ban happened after she was removed from a meeting after trying to ask the school’s president about the future of Turner Field. The student is one of a group of activists pushing for assurances about GSU’s development there.
Asma Elhuni, a senior political science major at GSU, showed up at a public student government meeting with a group of young activists Thursday night to speak with GSU President Mark Becker.
GSU police said the group was told that the meeting’s rules meant only pre-approved questions from student government members could be asked.
A video of Elhuni being dragged out of the meeting by campus police was posted online by a GSU Signal reporter.
“Why doctor Becker? Why? Why will you not sign the CBA. You said you won’t displace people, but my question is, a CBA is the only way to ensure that doesn’t happen,” said Elhuni in the video.
“I don’t understand why there was a need to handle me in such an aggressive way,” said Elhuni on Friday.
Elhuni, who’s won GSU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, was pushing for Becker to support a Community Benefits Agreement regarding GSU’s purchase of Turner Field. The agreement aims to ensure community input in the development to come and maintain affordability nearby.
However another group of community advocates say they’re already in talks with both GSU and its private development partner.
“We are working with the developer. There are ongoing community meetings” said Summerhill resident and community leader Suzanne Mitchell. “We will have an agreement. We will be solving problems in the community.”
Mitchell said she respected the passion of the students, but hoped they could meet to discuss the progress she feels is already being made in negotiating the future of the neighborhoods surrounding Turner Field.
In a statement, the university said Elhuni was removed because she was disrupting the meeting, not because of her question. As of Friday she was barred from entering campus. Elhuni faced the same consequence because of another demonstration at GSU’s commencement, though the ban was lifted the next day.
Another activist, who is not a student, was arrested by campus police and charged with obstruction when he accompanied Elhuni out of the meeting. The student government meetings are open to the public.
President Becker could not be reached for comment.
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