Noon* Rally – Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley
On November 20, 2009, one day after the UC Regents increased student fees by 32 percent, approximately 40 students engaged in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest fee increases and to call upon the University to rehire recently laid off custodial workers. On that day, thousands of UC Berkeley students, professors and workers, as well as members of the community at large, came out to support the student activists, to amplify our act of protest, and to try and protect us against police violence or an unduly punitive administration response.
Just as those of us inside Wheeler Hall needed your support on November 20, we need your support today. In recent weeks, some of us have received letters from the Office of Student Conduct (OSC), suggesting that we accept a six-month suspension rather than enter into a formal student conduct hearing, at which we could face even more severe disciplinary measures. (See excerpts from the OSC letter below.)
We are serious students invested in our education and are distressed about the prospect of being barred from our academic work for six months.
We are concerned about the chilling effect this punishment could have on nonviolent campus organizers working to ensure that the UCs remain public and widely accessible.
We believe that the OSC, led by Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard, has overstepped in proposing such a severe penalty for an act of nonviolent civil protest.
If you share with us some of these points of view, please join us at 10AM on Monday, April 5, for a peaceful rally in front of Sproul Hall. Together we can show Dean Poullard that the community is watching and will not tolerate the extended suspension of students who are struggling to ensure that the UCs stay true to their public mission.
Excerpts from OSC letter to student activists:
[The Office of Student Conduct] proposes the following sanctions and conditions in resolution of your case:
Your student status at UC Berkeley and with all UC Berkeley affiliated programs, including “UC Extension”, will be terminated from May 17, 2010 to December 17, 2010, with reinstatement thereafter certain (provided that you have complied with all conditions imposed as part of the suspension and provided that you are otherwise qualified for reinstatement). Please note that violations of the conditions of Suspension or of University policies or campus regulations during the period of Suspension may be cause for further disiciplinary action, normally in the form of Dismissal. During the period of Suspension, a notation of this disciplinary suspension will appear on your academic transcript. Upon completion of the Suspension, the notation of the disciplinary suspension will be lifted from your academic transcript.
Please be advised that you are free to either enter into this Agreement with the University based on the sanctions proposed above, or have the matter fully adjudicated at a hearing.
In the event that the matter proceeds to such a hearing, please be advised that the University shall not be limited to asking for the sanction(s) and/or condition(s) proposed in this agreement.
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*[note: time was changed as Zak and Marika’s court hearing is at 9am that same day.]