Purdue Admin Threatens Protest Organizers With Expulsion

(TotalConservative.com) – After nearly a week of protesting, Purdue University Administrators informed pro-Palestinian demonstrators on campus that they were in violation of the school’s code of conduct and would be subject to suspension or expulsion.

Protest leaders received an email on Monday, April 29, from Associate Dean of Students Jeffery Stefancic with a letter from the head of Student Activities & Organizations, Martia Brawner King, addressed to the Young Democratic Socialists of America, who co-sponsored the campus demonstrations with Students for Justice in Palestine.

The letter informed the student leaders that they had multiple violations of the university code of conduct, including obstructing or disrupting university activities while using campus grounds and buildings; using university property without authorization; and failing to comply with university officials’ directions as they performed their normal duties.

A Community Standards Board will deliberate whether or not the four student organizers charged are responsible for the violations in connection with their participation in and/or leadership of a demonstration” sponsored by the two student groups. If deemed responsible, the four students could be suspended or even expelled from the university based on university regulations.

The violations originated from a decision by the two student organizations to relocate their protest encampment from the lawn outside of Purdue’s Agricultural Administration building to Memorial Mall. Two of the leaders charged told reporters that they moved their encampment because the university failed to respect their presence on the lawn when administrations tried to kick them out on Thursday, April 25. They believed the building was defined as a “public area” according to the university. They ultimately did not go into Memorial Mall and settled on the south lawn instead.

The letter also highlighted issues with the structures students erected on campus, for which they received an informal warning on Sunday, April 28. Using those structures and materials, such as wooden frames, “for unauthorized camping” violated university policy and an “express denial of permission” from the student activities office. Students disassembled the structure.

In a statement responding to Stefancic’s email, the Purdue Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine condemned the threats of suspension and expulsion against students peacefully and non-violently protesting. They claim it is well within their freedom of speech rights and academic freedom rights on campus.

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