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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism
UC Berkeley Agrees to Settle Angela Miller’s Conduct Charges
After pursuing charges against Angela Miller for the entire semester, UC Berkeley is agreeing to an
informal resolution for Miller that does not include any suspension. Miller will be able to continue her
academic program without interruption.
This resolution recognizes that the University provided no evidence sufficient to support the grossly inflated charges against her. It is clear from a full semester of Berkeley’s pursuit of Miller that administrators adopted a policy of holding her accountable for the media-sensationalized damage at University House on December 11, 2009 whether she was involved or not.
The effort began with an unlawful eviction order, a heinous gag order that prohibited Miller from talking to any member of the campus community, a secret hearing where her lawyer could not speak, and an “interim suspension” that restricted her access to classes and the campus. It culminated in a two page statement from Chancellor Birgeneau. The campus's chief executive released a contrived, innuendo-laced statement that tried to blame Miller for negative national media attention, vandalism that she didn’t commit, and providing ‘moral support’ to people at the demonstration (which is clearly *not* a violation of any University rule).
Miller's treatment drew early and sustained criticism from the Campus Rights Project, the ACLU of Northern California, and over 140 UC faculty, which forced the administration to back down from its hard line ‘punish first, determine the truth later’ position. Today, CRP, who provided Miller’s pro bono representation in partnership with Berkeley Law faculty member Steve Rosenbaum, is pleased to announce that Miller’s case settled with a “stayed” suspension that does not implicate her ability to protest on campus and will not go into effect after she completes a small amount of on-campus community service.
UC Davis student Laura Thatcher, another December 11 arrestee facing the same unfair, problematic conduct process in a joint hearing with Miller, received a similar resolution.
Despite these significant victories, UC Berkeley is pursuing political charges against over 40 additional students using the same procedurally flawed and unfair process experienced by Miller and Thatcher. The Campus Rights Project joins with over 140 UC Berkeley Faculty in calling for a complete suspension of all conduct proceedings and the immediate dismissal of all pending conduct charges. The University, through gross violations of student rights and basic values common to our academic community abrogated its right to investigate and punish student conduct.