Friday, January 15, 2010

UC Berkeley Student Conduct Hearings

An email sent out two days ago:
Hey Everyone,

I just got back from Angela Miller’s student conduct hearing. She was one of the Berkeley students randomly detained at the Chancellor’s House. Basically, Alix, Joseph, Laura, and I went for support. Actually, Alix is [Angela’s] friend and went in as her advisor with her while the rest of us waited outside. Alix reported that during her hearing, the police officer called Angela a terrorist and compared her to the Ku Klux Klan. Result: they gave Angela an interim suspension and are kicking her out of her co-op, Cloyne. Angela needs to get her stuff and leave, no joke. Also, they literally told her the words that she “is guilty until proven innocent”. They said this even while knowing that the DA’s office found NO evidence connecting her to the vandalism at the Chancellor’s House. I seriously can not believe that I go to this school. [Angela] could have been anyone of us student protesters. The Student Conduct Office together with the Administration are completely morally bankrupt.
Apparently, Angela was told about the hearing the day before it was going to happen; she didn't have time to arrange for any sort of legal representation. For Zach Bowin, whose case came up in December, he found out a little bit earlier. Because of the lawyer -- Steve Rosenbaum, who actually helped revise the code of conduct 30 years ago -- as well as the large crowd outside the student conduct office, things went better for Zach. Still, here's a video of the lawyer talking to the crowd after being thrown out of the hearing.

UC Berkeley law lecturer discusses the Office of Student Conduct from Josh Wolf on Vimeo.

As Rosenbaum puts it, the hearing is basically a "secret tribunal" where "they make up the rules as you go along." It's actually pretty fitting that you can see the police presence at the protest. They're videotaping the crowd.

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