2 U students charged in riot; 7 others held

Four student groups promised to take action against any of their members who participated.

HBy Dan Haugen and Paul Sand
Hennepin County attorneys charged two University students Monday with misdemeanors in connection with last weekend’s riot.

Eleven people were arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department, communications specialist Ron Reier said. University police made no arrests.

Kyle Bernhardt, a biological science sophomore, was charged with obstructing the legal process. Katherine Roth, an Institute of Technology junior, was charged with disorderly conduct.

Bernhardt said he was taking pictures shortly after the game, and did not do anything wrong.

“I wasn’t running because I didn’t have anything to run for,” he said.

Prosecutors have until noon today to file charges or release at least seven others being held in connection with the riot.

Meanwhile, four student associations promised to take action against their members if they are found to have participated in the riot.

Presidents of the Minnesota Student Association, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Inter-Fraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Council condemned the riotous behavior and said it was not representative of the student body as a whole, nor of their organizations.

“We are not aware of any members (who participated),” Inter-fraternity President John Kokkinen said. “(Chapters) will be strongly encouraged to deal with their members accordingly.”

Minnesota Student Association President Joshua Colburn said Monday the organization will be investigating the involvement of any of its officials in the riot.

Around 11:45 p.m. Saturday, two Minnesota Daily reporters witnessed Emie Eshmawy, an executive committee chairwoman for MSA, holding a Miller Lite box and a piece of kindling as a male companion used a cigarette lighter to light the kindling on fire.

Once ignited, the kindling – a brown, rolled-up piece of paper or cardboard – was dropped into the box, which was set in a driveway behind the McNamara alumni center.

Eshmawy denied holding the kindling, and said she was only holding the box because she had tripped over it minutes earlier. She said she was sober at the time, and does not drink alcohol.

“Looking back at it now, I probably shouldn’t have been out on the street,” she said.

Eshmawy said she was not the only official from MSA at the riot, and that senior members of fraternities and other student organizations participated in the vandalism of property.

Monday afternoon, Colburn said he was unaware of the involvement of any MSA officials. Later, after speaking with Eshmawy, Colburn said he would look into the matter and that there will be due process.

“I’m really disappointed if this is true,” Colburn said. “We’re going to be taking as much action as possible on this.”

He said the matter will be addressed at Wednesday’s MSA executive board meeting and at its April 22 full forum meeting. MSA bylaws allow the forum to censure, suspend or remove officers from their positions, Colburn said.

The Minnesota Student Association consists of 75 student-elected forum members. Those members elect executive officials, who chair the organization’s five committees.

Eshmawy ran unsuccessfully for the 2002-03 MSA presidency. She is now the chairwoman of the committee on campus relations. She is a senior, triple majoring in political science, history and global studies.

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