Student protester calls for a ‘fair and public trial’ after UO charged them with conduct code violations
Update: The UO Student Collective sent out a press release that requested the UO senate support the collective’s demands.
On Sunday, a member of the UO Student Collective made a Facebook post that criticized the process the UO took when charging them and other students with conduct code violations. This post was the first public comment from any protesters since the first administrative conference with school officials.
The student, Charlie Landeros, wrote that there was “institutionalized administrative bias” against them, that there was no chance for them to defend themselves and have a dialogue with the University and that their actions were not a disruption of University business but were the business of the University.
The statement comes just three days after their administrative conference in which Landeros, who prefers to go by the gender-neutral pronouns they/them/their, sat down with a “decision-maker” to present determine if they were responsible for committing the violations. The charges against Landeros and other students are “Disruption of University” and “Failure to Comply.”
On Monday, Landeros was notified by the University that they were found “responsible” the first charge, “Disruption of University”. The university presented them with two sanctions: a letter of reprimand and a requirement that they must write an essay saying what they did wrong and what they learned. Landeros intends to appeal the decision made by the University according to Landeros.
Landeros said in an interview with The Emerald that they hoped the charges would be dropped, but expected to receive some sort of sanctions.
Landeros also said that they want a fair and public trial in which they are tried by a jury of their peers and to be considered innocent until proven guilty, all of which are Constitutional rights given to anyone who is on trial in a court of law.
The University is not required to follow the laws of the constitution in this circumstance because it is not a court of law. The UO uses the school conduct code to determine what it will do to decide if a student has violated the conduct code.
Landeros also asked what standards and legal ethics the UO uses to govern the school in their statement.
“If we are to use the Constitution as any standard, which our so-called President has recently been using to justify allowing hateful, dangerous and harmful groups on campus, then this entire process that we are engaging in now is far past unconstitutional. It is fascism,” said Landeros.
The University of Oregon was unable to provide comment on the post because the conduct code charges are “part of a student’s educational record.”
“Since I was denied a public trial and there were no official records kept of the ‘Administrative Conference’ they will be able to say whatever they want. But before they do, I want [to] say what I said at my conference,” wrote Landeros in the Facebook post.
Students going through administrative conference are allowed to have legal representation present. The UO Office of student advocacy offers students free legal representation but was only able to represent one of the students in accordance with the Oregon State bar.
Landeros is a founding member of the UO Student Collective and one of at least 13 students charged with student conduct code violations for participating in the Oct. 6 protest. Landeros, 29, has been involved in various recent protests including a protest in March when 1500 people protested against White Supremacy.
The full statement is available here.