Conduct Hearing for Student Protester to Begin

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More than a year after protests that shook the campus in November 2009, a public hearing for a UC Berkeley student charged with misconduct for his involvement in demonstrations will be held Friday, amid increasing controversy and multiple lawsuits surrounding campus student conduct proceedings.

The hearing - which will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Krutch Theater on the Clark Kerr Campus - is being held for senior Julian Martinez, who is facing misconduct charges for his participation in the Wheeler Hall occupation in November 2009, according to Thomas Frampton, a campus law student and member of the Campus Rights Project who is advising Martinez.

According to Frampton, at the hearing, panel chair Ron Fearing, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, will allow Frampton to speak, which Frampton said is significant because advisers in previous conduct hearings have not been allowed to speak. While the campus Code of Student Conduct allows students to consult with their advisers, during hearings "students must speak on their own behalf ... Exceptions will only be made by the hearing panel or hearing officer in unusual circumstances (i.e. need for translator)."

Martinez has been charged with five specific violations of the campus Code of Student Conduct, including unauthorized entry and use of university equipment, conduct threatening people's health and safety, disruption of university activities, participation in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly and obstructing university officials in the performance of their duties, according to Frampton.

The hearing is the second public hearing to be held for protesters involved in the November 2009 protests. Under the campus Code of Student Conduct, student hearings are generally closed to the public, but students are able to request a public hearing, which may or may not be granted by their hearing chair.

Aaida Samad covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected]

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