"We're having a communication problem between the school and the administration," said Kevin Samuels, 22, a senior who helped arrange Wednesday night's demonstration.
"It shouldn't have to be this way. This is a small campus. This isn't USC or UCLA," he said.
Delaware State has about 2,200 students, including about 920 who live on campus.
No drugs were found and no arrests were made, said Dover police spokesman Lt. Robert L. Bates. But police are investigating the car vandalism and expect to make arrests, he said.
Gladys D. W. Motley, dean of student affairs, was quoted yesterday in newspaper reports as saying a student hit her "several times" on the back of the head during the melee. But at a news conference yesterday, Motley would not say if she had been injured.
The confrontation began about 11 p.m. when campus security officers entered Conwell Hall, Samuels said. He said students almost immediately went out into the hallway, blocked the doors, turned off the lights and pulled the fire alarms.
Samuels and the other men from Conwell Hall left the building and rounded up students from other dorms. The crowd, numbering 250 to 300, marched across campus to college President Luna I. Mishoe's house where the students gathered on the lawn, shouting "Out with Motley" and calling for Mishoe to come outside, said John Ryan, 22, the student government president.
Police said that during the demonstration, students slashed tires and broke
windows of cars belonging to Motley, who planned and authorized the three searches, and Kenneth Chavis Jr., dean of student services.
Samuels, a former quarterback on the football team, said athletes appeared to be the target of the latest search.
"They're trying to make it seem that there is a tremendous drug problem here, and I don't see that," he said.