Occupy Invades Another B-School

The Occupy Movement invaded a second major business school last night (Nov. 29), breaking into Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Drawn to the school by a J.P. Morgan Career visit, the protesters blocked a door, sat cross-legged on the floor with their arms linked, and refused to leave.

“J.P. Morgan,” protesters shouted, “feel free to leave. Not on our campus!”

The demonstration successfully shut down the presentation by Morgan’s private bank and asset management divisions. “JPMorgan-Chase was among the major financial institutions that caused the 2008 financial collapse with its criminally greedy, fraudulent lending practices,” claimed protester and Indiana student Nick Greven in a prepared statement (see video of the disturbance below).

Last month,the Wharton School’s Huntsman Hall was invaded by some 100 Occupy Wall Street protesters. The Oct. 21 demonstration led House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to cancel his Wharton Leadership Lecture hours before it was to occur. It also led to back-and-forth taunting between undergraduate Wharton students and the protestors.

At Indiana, little more than 40 protesters blocked the door to a room in the graduate and executive education center where officials from J.P. Morgan were recruiting business students. J.P. Morgan is a major MBA recruiter. A recent analysis of top recruiting companies found that the investment banking firm hired 103 MBA interns from just 12 schools last year and 54 graduating MBAs from just ten top schools.

After being tossed out of the building, the protesters issued a statement to the media suggesting that more demonstrations were likely. “This action is an important local step in the progression of the Occupy movement and will be a visible discussion topic in the upcoming weeks,” according to the statement.

Police arrived minutes after the protest began and warned protesters that they needed to exit the doorway or they would be arrested. Most of the protesters moved to the hallway but several of them remained seated in front of the door despite the requests of the police.

Police eventually cleared the protesters from the building after a issuing a final warning that those who remained inside the building would be arrested.

According to the public radio account, students who were in the Kelley School during the protest appeared largely unsupportive, calling it “frustrating” and unnecessary. The campus newspaper quoted one undergraduate at Kelley who had tried to attend the J.P. Morgan presentation.

Paul Gillette, who identified himself as a sophomore who hopes to land a job in investment banking after graduating, expressed disappointment that he was unable to attend the event.

Gillette, who told the newspaper he disagrees with the Occupy movement, said he thinks the protesters are trying to take away the essential component of the American Dream.

“I was very disappointed that the event was cancelled,” Gillette told the Indiana Daily Student newspaper. “JPMorgan and other banks that make the trip from New York to Bloomington invest a lot of time, money and other resources recruiting the incredible talent that the Kelley school has to offer. What the protesters don’t realize is that they ruined the presentation for all of the hard-working students attending the event.

“With Thanksgiving just last week, it’s really important to remember how much opportunity there is in America to be thankful for. There are no limitations in this country preventing any one of us from chasing our dream.”