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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Police State and Prisons
Berkeley student suspended for protest
Two UC Berkeley students were among the eight arrested outside the chancellor's house after a night-time march Dec. 10. The university put Zach Bowin and Angela Miller on interim suspensions after their arrest. While Bowin's suspension has since been relaxed and he will be able to attend classes when they resume on Tuesday, Miller was told Wednesday that she cannot return to class. This 5 minute video from outside the student conduct office features Berkeley Law School Lecturer Steve Rosenbaum describing the student discipline process.
Angela Miller was thrown in jail and held on more than $100,000 bail after she was arrested from a crowd gathered outside UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home. But even after the DA dropped all the charges against the eight who were arrested, the university is refusing to allow Miller to return to class.
No one has shown evidence that any of those arrested broke any laws when they joined a march on Dec. 10 that resulted in some property damage to the chancellor's on-campus house.
But on Tuesday, the student conduct office told Miller that she had to meet with a disciplinary panel the following day about her interim suspension. She said she figured the meeting was just a formality so that they could relax her suspension before classes resume Tuesday. The university had already loosened Zachin Bowin's suspension, the other UC Berkeley student arrested that night, and the two appear to be in the same situation.
Miller brought a fellow student to the meeting as her advisor and a few supporters stood outside the room while the panel met. After discussing her fate, the panel decided to maintain her suspension and continue to bar her from campus. The suspension order also prohibits her from speaking to any of her fellow students as well as University faculty and staff. It should be noted that university spokesperson Dan Mogoluf has said he doesn't know of any instance in which the university actually punished a student for exercising their First Amendment right to speak to others and said the university is reviewing that provision in its boilerplate suspension order.
The student conduct panel told Miller that since she lives in a student co-op that leases its property from a university-owned building she would also need to move.
Berkeley Law School lecturer Steve Rosenbaum, who advised Bowin during his hearing, has agreed to represent Miller.
In this video taken outside of the student conduct office when Bowin appeared before a hearing Rosenbaum — who had just been asked to leave for being "disruptive" for acting on his client's behalf — describes his reaction to the student conduct process, which now threatens Miller future at UC Berkeley.