President Barchi Assailed By Protesters At Alumni Event

By Aviv Khavich

A protester attempts to seize the microphone from President Robert Barchi,

A protester attempts to seize the microphone from President Robert Barchi,

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi was interrupted by protesters Friday evening during a speaking arrangement.

President Barchi had been speaking at the grand opening celebration for the newly dedicated Rutgers Alumni House at Van Nest Hall. He spoke to a crowd of alumni, along with representatives from the Rutgers University Alumni Association. The event was also attended by New Jersey Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin.

According to Rutgers alumnus Stephen Poos, who attended, “President Barchi and a few other dignitaries were cutting the ribbon at the Alumni House at Van Nest Hall when a student protester stepped alongside the podium and began to speak over him as [Barchi] began his speech. Some staff members walked him away without any struggle after a minute or so. Then a female activist approached him from the other side of the podium and asked to have his microphone. Barchi naturally refused.“

Video of the event is below.

The protesters seemed to be protesting the charging of student protesters with disorderly conduct after they disrupted a Board of Trustees meeting last year. It is unclear at this time which groups organized the protest.

Poos added, “It's understandable that students have grievances with the administration, but this wasn't the best way to make a statement. Most of the people in the crowd haven't been students in years and they had no idea what the activists were shouting about. It's hard to tell if this protest accomplished anything."