Actions don’t have consequences for Claremont McKenna College faculty.
Over the objections of the administration, professors voted to let students participate in graduation who are facing possible expulsion for shutting down War on Cops author Heather Mac Donald in her April campus speech, The Claremont Independent reports.
This was an unprecedented break with college policy, as was made clear by Dean of Faculty Peter Uvin’s May 4 letter to professors, obtained by the Independent:
I inform you that there are among this group of [graduating] students a number who are currently … the subject of a Conduct Investigation and Review process related to the blockade and other disruptions at the Athenaeum and the Kravis building on April 6, 2017.
The school’s “expedited conduct review process” is “not appropriate” in any of the cases, which is a first in college history, Uvin wrote:
The charges against these students are sufficiently significant for the College to have activated the procedure that carries the highest potential sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. It is wrong to let students, over whom such significant doubts as to their good standing exist, graduate from the College as if these concerns did not exist. In the past, the College solved this conundrum by dramatically expediting conduct processes … Today, and rightly so, conduct processes have become much more complicated, with many more intermediary steps designed to protect the respondents to serious charges. The result is that we are now obliged to directly grapple with this question: are we willing to simply graduate students against whom there was sufficient preliminary evidence to warrant a Conduct Investigation and Review process?
Uvin warned faculty to consider the precedent they might set if they excused the students’ alleged conduct and let them walk at the May 13 commencement:
In such circumstances, we would treat the degree as conditional and not allow the student to participate in commencement. The motion I submit [for a faculty vote] amounts to giving these students a conditional degree. It says that they have fulfilled the academic requirements for graduation but that unsolved major concerns about their good standing preclude us from awarding this degree at this moment.
Anyone who was exonerated at the end of the conduct process would be allowed to walk in the next commencement, he said.
Faculty only adopted the first half of Uvin’s proposed two-part vote, giving graduating students under investigation a “conditional” degree but not barring them from graduation ceremonies, the administration confirmed to the Independent. It stressed that the faculty’s blind eye toward serious allegations “would not impact the sanctions process.”
A student group known as CMCers of Color had demanded that the college exonerate students regardless of whether they were found responsible, saying it “holds the power to withhold transcripts, barring students entrance into a competitive job market.”
The same group has maintained a so-called burn book of students of color who are insufficiently progressive, slurring them as “Shady People of Color.”
Read the Independent and Dean Uvin’s letter.