Students at the Ithaca, New York Ivy League university took over Cornell President David Skorton’s office to protest the student health fee.

Casey Breznick from the Cornell Review reports.

Cornell Students Occupy Day Hall, President’s Office to Protest Student Health Fee

Around 150 students took over Cornell’s main administrative building, Day Hall, and University President David Skorton’s office Monday afternoon in order to protest the new student health fee.

The protest and protesters have rallied around the hashtag #FighttheFee, and are tweeting out updates from the Twitter account @FighttheFee. There is also a live feed from inside the building.

Students are currently occupying the building and have confronted Skorton, who reportedly engaged in testy exchanges with several students regarding their grievances against him and the University.

Last Thursday Skorton sent an email to all students announcing a $350 fee to be levied on all students who do not purchase Cornell’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) in order to subsidize the healthcare costs of low-income students. The administration has provided a number of reasons justifying the fee–including citing rising healthcare costs, mismanagement of the student health center, and appeal to the “common good”–but student across campus responded only with immense indignation. The Review was quick to recognize the commonalities between what we call the Student Health Insurance Tax, or S.H.I.T, and the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, but opposition to the fee has united students across campus. Read our initial coverage of the fee here.

Today’s protest began in Willard Straight Hall with a short speech accosting the university not just for the fee, but a slew of other derided shortcomings, including poor treatment of low-level employees and the amount of debt students hold. In attendance were about 300 students, several administrators including Denice Cassaro, the assigned event coordinator, and three uniformed policemen.