Protester Faces Conduct Hearing Friday

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

Update: Before the hearing began, the hearing panel discussed and ruled that Thomas Frampton of the Campus Rights Project would be allowed to speak at the hearing as Aakash Desai's adviser.

Following the resolution of most of the student conduct cases for UC Berkeley students involved in the November 2009 occupation of Wheeler Hall, a public hearing for one of the remaining protesters is slated for Friday, amid controversy surrounding the possible lack of representation for the student in the hearing.

The hearing - which is the second public hearing this semester for protesters involved in the November 2009 occupation - will be held for Aakash Desai, a campus graduate student facing five charges of misconduct for his involvement, according to Thomas Frampton, a UC Berkeley School of Law student and member of the Campus Rights Project who is advising Desai.

According to Frampton, Desai's case is "literally identical" to the the first public hearing this semester for campus senior Julian Martinez, whose case was resolved early last week when a faculty panel ruled that he was was not responsible for all five charges.

Desai was arrested at the same time as Martinez, and both face the same five charges. He added that the evidence against Desai - including police reports and police testimony - is also identical to that in the Martinez case.

However, according to Frampton, where the similarities between the two cases do end is problematic. Frampton said in an e-mail that panel chair Ron Fearing, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will not allow Frampton to speak at the hearing - a marked change from his decision in Martinez's case, where Frampton was allowed to speak.

"The University seems to have realized it's easier to get a conviction when they muzzle the adviser," Frampton said in the e-mail. "We don't think that's fair."

However, according to the campus Code of Student Conduct, whether or not a student's adviser will be allowed to speak is at the discretion of the faculty chair. While the code 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."

Desai has been charged with five violations of the campus Code of Student Conduct, including 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, and unauthorized entry and use of university equipment, according to Frampton.


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

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Academics and Administration
Image Regents rescind part of approval
The ongoing legal battle surrounding revisions to the building plans for th...Read More»
Academics and Administration
Image Faculty members eligible for new Back-Up Care prog...
UC Berkeley officials announced Wednesday...Read More»
Academics and Administration
Image Strikers hungry no longer as protest comes to an e...
Last Monday morning, remnants of chalking efforts on the paveme...Read More»
Academics and Administration
Image Hunger strikers persist in tenth day of protest
Five hunger strikers protesting the consolidation of staff positions...Read More»
Academics and Administration
Image Professor to become interim dean of biological sci...
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer annou...Read More»
Academics and Administration
Image Donations allow campus to reinstate men's gymnasti...
In 1912, the Cal men's gymnastics team held its inaugural seaso...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space