SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) — Police were called to Swarthmore College Thursday afternoon after a number of students staged a sit-in inside and outside of the president’s office. Protesters wanted a number of things, including a permanent ban of two fraternities after leaked internal documents allegedly included jokes about sexual assault; derogatory comments about women, minorities and the LGBT community; videos and photos of sexual encounters where all parties may not have known they were being recorded – and even referenced a “rape attic.”
The college said the authenticity of the documents has not yet been verified.
The students planned on staying in the president’s office until their demands were met. Students say they were denied food or water and were not able to access a bathroom.
The original plan was to stay inside the Swarthmore College president’s office until their demands were met: Permanently and formally terminate the leases of Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon fraternities and turn the frat houses into safe and dry places for students.
Ten students were inside of Dr. Valerie Smith’s office and 50 more were outside in the hallway.
In a letter, Dr. Smith described the refusal to leave her office as a serious safety concern, and that the students were in clear violation of college policies. Students say the sit-in was a result of controversy surrounding the two fraternities.
Both frats voted to disband over the leaked documents that allegedly included images and video that appeared to show former members making racist remarks and joking about rape. Students who were inside protesting say they left after police were called. But police say they were on scene since noon Thursday and made no threats to arrest any students.
“Everyone’s freaking out because there’s a lot of vulnerable students in the protest, in the hallways,”sophomore Tiara Tillis said. “They were like, ‘If you guys are vulnerable, you need to leave.’ You just see a lot of people running, they’re leaving their stuff in the hallways.”
Dr. Smith said she was willing to meet with the students after her office was vacated. There is no word yet on when or if that meeting is still happening.
CBS3’s Kimberly Davis and the Associated Press contributed to this report.