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March 15, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thursday, March 15, 2001- The Michigan Daily - 5A

THE

In a

S

ECOND IN ASERIES

rian Montieth was living at West Quad during the end of his first year at the University.
As his hallmates left to go home for holiday break, something strange happened across the
way at the Fleming Administration Building. Apples were launched from somewhere on
his hall - some of them breaking then-Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford's
office window. The administration went looking for those responsible and the Code of Student
Conduct - now renamed the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities - found
Montieth, now an Engineering senior. The vast majority of Code cases remain wrapped in
mystery. But Montieth's experience with the Code breaks that silence and demonstrates the unfair
and arbitrary nature of the University's discipline policies. Despite a lack of evidence in the apple
bombing, that didn't matter to the administration - Montieth was ...
* UILT

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE
UNIVERSITY BOARD OF REGENTS:
HOW THE
ADMINISTRATION
HAS MISLED THE
STUDENTS
I write to you today with serious concerns regard-
ing the administration's misleading statements about
recent Code of Student Conduct amendments and the
future of the document.
While Vice President for Student Affairs E. Roys-
ter Harper's recent letter to the student body might.
have indicated that University President Lee Bollinger
passed the vast majority of proposed changes to the
Code - 85 percent is the number she cites - the
number is deceptive and we believe the process is
designed to be so and to minimize student input into a
Code that governs only students' behavior. As decid-
ed by your body in 1999, the process of amending the
Code (on July 1 to be called the "Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities") involves several inter-
mediary steps between those proposing the changes
and Bollinger's ultimate decision whether to accept
them.
Harper's advisory committee, the Student Rela-
tions Advisory Committee, completed an exhaustive
analysis of both the Michigan Student Assemblys
and the Faculty Senate's Civil Liberties Board's rec&-
ommendations in the spring of last year. In the end,
that committee, with little to no student input, axed
nearly every substantial amendment proposed by the
students. Bollinger didn't have much to pick from and
yet he still managed to weed out anything of import.
leaving only minor, semantic changes.
. Furthermore, the Office of the Vice President for
Student Affairs and the Student Relations Advisory
Committee strung along the Assembly and the Stu-
dent Rights Commission into thinking that the recom-
mendations of these two bodies were being seriously
considered. We met with both the VPSA and the chair
of the SRAC and in both cases were misled. It will
take much commitment to honestly and straightfor-
wardness on the part of the administration to regain
the trust of the assembly on this matter in future Code
amendment procedures.
Given, any type of student-initiated change to the
document formerly known as the Code of Student
Conduct is quite welcome - but the fact remains that
it still infringes, monumentally, on the civil rights of
students. The Code deprives students of fundamental
Constitutionally guaranteed rights like due process
and a fair trial - and all we get in response from the
President of our University are pedantic statements
like "There is nothing unfair about using hearsay evi-
dence in the arbitration process." You should be out-
raged. We are outraged.
While administrators will likely say, "But this
isn't a legal document, it's a educational document,"
we beg the question of them why should our punitive
system be any less fair than that of our federal and
state governments?
The due process portions of the U.S. Constitution
are based on the presumption of "innocent until
proven guilty." That's why society guarantees the
accused the right to a lawyer, the right to a public trial,
the right to trial by jury, the right to face witnesses
and the right to be tried without hearsay. Students
tried under the Code have none of these rights, and
none of this presumption of innocence.
We appeal to you, the Board of Regents, to ask
President Bollinger and other members of the admin-
istration to give students a fair shake in the next cycle
of Code amendments. We've taken a few minor steps
forward, but have so much more to accomplish. Stu-
dents are mobilizing around this issue and it will only
continue to heat up in the coming months. We ask
you to treat our concerns with fairness and respect and
to seriously consider our input into our own Code this
time around.
MICHAEL SIMON
LSA sophomore
The letter writer is the co-chairman of the Michigan
Student Assembly's Student Rights Commission

NO

MATTER

WHAT

0 0

IN HIS OWN WORDS

T WAS THE END OF THE FALL TERM OF 1996, A DAY BEFORE I
* LEFT FOR WINTER BREAK. I WAS LEAVING TILE MEN'S ROOM
ON THE FOURTH FLOOR OF WEST QUAD'S MICHIGAN HOUSE,
WHEN I SAW TWO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS AND
A JIOUSEKEEPER KNOCKING ON MY FRIEND'S DOOR. I WENT BACK
TO MY ROOM, NOT TELLING THEM THAT MY FRIEND HAD LEFT FOR
BREAK AN HOUR OR SO EARLIER. A COUPLE OF MINUTES AFTER I
VAD ARRIVED AT MY ROOM THERE WAS A KNOCK ON MY DOOR. IT
WAS THE TWO DPS OFFICERS.

They asked me if I was in my
friend's room earlier; I said I had not
been. They asked me if I knew where
the two guys whose door they had been
at Were. I informed them that one had
left a day ago and the other
an hour ago. The'officers
when told me that they knew At mi
that the one who had just meeting
left had been launching how th
apples from his room at the charge
Fleming Administration only p
Building and had broken a evidence
window. They further said the hou
that they believed I was said th,
evolved and asked to search been in
y room for the launching earlier ie
device. At the time I had a
keg behind a desk so I (Mary.
politely declined. They told Antiea
me'that this only confirmed time told
their suspicion and that, if I uncerta
were not involved, I would that sheJ
let them search my room to 1 was invi
confirm. I did not have the would1
device they were looking guilty if1
for, Again, I politely guilty ant
declined. They left. punishm
A week after I returned mo
from the break I received a _e___r
letter summoning me to the
Fleming Building and informing me
that I was charged with destroying Uni-
ersity property. I met with Mary
Louise Antieau, who at the time worked
directly under Maureen Hartford, the
Vice President for Student Affairs; she
was responsible for overseeing the
implementation of the Student Code of
Conduct Antineau took me to a room

ie
ei
i
r
Ik
ie

be cleaned. She also pointed to a door
in the back of the right wall (from the
window) that was open enough for the
thin edge to be facing the window. This
edge was still covered with apple.
The tour was now over
and she brought me back to
next her office. Antieau present-
I asked ed me with the DPS report
y could stating that I would not
ie as the allow a search of my room,
ece of and quoting the housekeep-
was that er stating that she heard my
ekeeper voice saying "Oh, shit, we
3t I had hit a window." She also
he room showed me a follow-up
the day. report with a follow-up
interview with the house-
tLouise) keeper saying that she now
at this is not sure that it was my
me in no voice at all. One of the two
in terms reports had her placing me
Wnew that in the room earlier in the
lved, she day (not at or near the time
ind me of the incident). Antieau
pled not gave me some Code of Stu-
f that the dent Conduct information
nt would pamphlets and we sched-
severe. uled another meeting dur-
_ _ ing which I would make
my plea.
By this time my friend from whose
room the apples had been fired had
admitted to it. He was tried in a crimi-
nal court and sentenced to somewhere
around 75 hours of community service
and was additionally charged for the
cost of the window repair and court
costs - around $750. In both trials he
stated (in one iunder oath) that he had

How TO CONTACT THEM
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION
PRESIDENT LEE C. BOLLINGER
1eecfl@umich. cdu
764-6270
2074 FLEMING BUILlING
VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS E. ROYsTER HARPER
harperer@umich.edu
764-51.32
6015 FLEMING BUILDING
KErrH ELKIN, OFFICE OF STUDENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION DIRECTOR
ktlk8n@umich.edu
936-6308
6015 FLEMING BUILDING
UNIVERSITY BOARD OF REGENTS
DAVID BRANDON (R-ANN ARBOR)
dabran@umich.edu
(734) 930-3006
DOMINO'S PIZZA, INC.
30 FRANK LLOYDWRIGI IT DR.
P.O. BOX 997
ANN ARBOR, MI 48106-0997
LAURENCE DEITCH (D-BLOOMFIELD HILLS)
Ideitch@umich edu
(313) 392-1055
NODMAN, LONGLEY & DAIILING LLP
34TI I FLOO)R
100 RENAISSANCE CENTER
DETROT, MI 48243
DAN HORNING (R-GRAND HAVEN)
dhorning@uinich.edu
(616) 842-1351
16964 ROBBINS RD., SUITE 100
GRAND HAVEN, MI 49417
OLIVIA MAYNARD (D-GOODRICH)
(omayfldrd@umihch .edu
(810) 239-1535
NORTIIBANK CENTER, SUITE 406
42 N. SAGINAW ST.
FLINTC MI 48502N
REBECCA MCGOWAN (D-ANN ARBOR)
.m aena ri. .1.. .

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Engineering senior Brian Monteith was accused and found guilty of launching apples
into the office of then-Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford under the
Code of Student Conduct.

write a paper roughly calculating the
speed of the apple as it hit the window
and to pay my friend half of the fine
that the criminal court ordered him to
pay. She at first made no mention of a
possible jury-like trial, but instead
said that she would make the ruling
herself. I wondered if this was a trap. I
could see a nrogecutor offering to rec-

something he did, I pled guilty. It was
sure to be easier than receiving the pun-
ishment that I had been threatened with
if I plead not guilty.
TELL THE DAILY YOUR
EXPERIENCES WITH THE
OFFICE OF STUDENT

i

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