The gathering was billed as an art and music festival and promoter and student William Sanchez told The Miami Herald it was organized to entertain students and inform them of issues such as rising tuition.
The school spokeswoman, Maydel Santana-Bravo, said the students were arrested because they were protesting without a permit.
"We asked them to stop, to move and to leave. They refused," she said.
Sanchez said Occupy FIU staged a similar event at the same location, known as the "Deuxieme Maison pit," in November without a permit, and that a campus ombudsman informed him no permit was required for Thursday's gathering.