OK, well I might as well join the bandwagon on this one. Central Michigan University plans on holding an expulsion hearing against Dennis Lennox on January 30th. The following is an excerpt from CMU’s letter to Lennox:
You have been cited for violating sections 3.2.2 (Providing false information to a university official); 3.2.15 (Not identifying yourself to a university agent when asked) and 3.2.32 (Distributing printed materials in violation of the Advocacy Policy) of the CMU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures during an incident that occurred in Anspach Hall on October 23, 2007.
See http://www.outsidelansing.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=111 for more details of the letter – my apologies for so many links in this, but I’ve had a ton of homework and I have a queue of topics that I have to do posts on, so I’m rushing through the ones that I can.
So, as Chetly Zarko pointed out in his article about the charges, they don’t make sense. If Lennox didn’t give a name, then how did he provide false information about himself?
It should be noted at this point that I DO think that if the university had conducted a proper investigation, then Dennis should be punished for the violations that he committed (I’m a law and order conservative), but expulsion is WAY too harsh, especially for a violation that they “prosecute” maybe 1% of the violators for. If people think that the policy violates the First Amendment, then challenge it, but until it’s challenged, I do think that he should be punished somehow (as should EVERYBODY who violates the policy). However, as I will point out below, the university’s investigation was faulty at best, and Dennis should thus be cleared.
Now, on to Dr. Peter Koper, the English professor who brought the incident to the attention of the University staff (http://www.outsidelansing.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=171): The date is wrong – in a court of law that evidence would be thrown out. And this guy’s an English professor? He spelled “Cheney” wrong, the statement “I am certain that” is missing an “of”. Also, why if he’s just doing a simple investigation was this CCed to President Rao, Dean Gary Shapiro, Dean Bruce Roscoe, Dean Pamela Gates, and Marcy (Marcia) Taylor, Chairwoman of the English department (why would she need to be CCed on this e-mail?). (See here for the letter: http://www.chetlyzarko.com/outsidelansing/koper1.JPG and http://www.chetlyzarko.com/outsidelansing/koper2.JPG).
And how did the investigator, Anthony Voisin, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Life, figure out who the suspect was with a photo only a day after he was contacted (assuming that the date of the 23rd is incorrect as Koper later implies in his letter)?
(See here: http://www.chetlyzarko.com/outsidelansing/koper3.JPG)
And if this is such a clear cut case where Koper said, “His behavior in taking the fliers from my hand was coercive. I did not feel I could continue my activity in his presence,” and they identified the suspect on the 25th, then why did it take a month to file the charges against Lennox?
But wait. This isn’t just a case of slow prosecution time – this is serious! Dr. Catherine Hicks (English department) said this about Dennis in October “So are you saying that this kid is dangerous? As in Virginia Tech dangerous? Let’s not ignore the warning signs…” (See here for more: http://www.outsidelansing.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=75). That’s similar to somebody who wrote on my blog: saying that Dennis was the “next Virginia Tech shooter.” Personally, these comments are offensive to me, Dennis, and the victims of the VA Tech shooting. If the school was really concerned that Lennox was going to do something crazy, they wouldn’t have waited a month to file these charges against him (and if they would wait that long after “positively” IDing him, then this school is terribly unsafe).
So, I hope these are enough reasons for you to contact some or all of the following (contacts courtesy of Nick at RightMichigan who has more free time than myself):
CMU President Michael Rao:
Phone: (989) 774-3131
Assistant Dean of Students Anthony Voisin:
Phone: (989) 774-3016
Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey Caponigro (R):
Phone: (248) 355-3200
Board of Trustees member Stephanie Comai (R):
Phone: (734) 761-6915
Board of Trustees member John Kulhavi (R):
Phone: (248) 737-6222
Board of Trustees member Gail Torreano (R):
Phone: (313) 223-7171
Again, I do have to say that I don’t condone some of Dennis’s methods, and I think he SHOULD have been punished if he were legitimately caught, but the circumstances are just too out of wack for me – the wrong date at the top, the hasty investigation – it all looks like it was just set up by the university while they waited to catch him in some violation. Since the university did not perform a proper investigation, I think Dennis should be cleared of all wrong doing.
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