A shantytown erected last week by University of Maryland students on the College Park campus as part of an apartheid protest was dismantled yesterday while Georgetown University students began a sit-in at a Georgetown administration building in another protest on the same issue.
Each protest focused on university investments in companies doing business in South Africa.
At Maryland, William L. Thomas Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs, ordered the makeshift shacks torn down after vandals overturned one of the shanties while a student member of the University Divestment Coalition was sleeping inside.
In a statement, Thomas said the shantytown was "a safety and sanitation hazard" and not in the tradition of nondisruptive protests at the university. In a written response, the student group called the administration action "ill-conceived" and said the shanties were part of an exchange of ideas that should be part of a university setting.
At Georgetown, about 50 students began a sit-in in the foyer of a campus building that houses the admissions office.
Desiree Arretz, a representative of the Student Coalition against Apartheid and Racism, said the students began blocking the entrance of the building about 1 p.m. She said they planned to remain until university officials agree to divestiture of Georgetown holdings in companies doing business in South Africa.