U faculty: sanction me too

Anne Millerbernd

After the University of Minnesota administration sent a letter to nine students saying they may face disciplinary action for a protest in Coffman Union in March, faculty members are supporting protesters by asking that they receive the same sanctions, according to the Star Tribune.

Professor David Pellow was one of more than 20 faculty members who asked to be disciplined along with the students. Pellow, who also participated in the protest against Condoleeza Rice’s visit to the University, told the Star Tribune that his request was inspired by one of his graduate students, Rahsaan Mahadeo.

Mahadeo was at the rally in March, but wasn’t initially sent a letter, the Minnesota Daily reported. He requested to be included with the other students and later received his own letter.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young told the Star Tribune that this was the first time she had seen a student ask to be “charged.”

Bioethics professor Carl Elliot also sent his own letter to Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Director Sharon Dzik asking to be sanctioned alongside the students.

 “Although I was not at the protest, I support the goals of Whose Diversity and their methods of accomplishing these goals,” he wrote. “For that reason, I would be sanctioned as well.”

Brown Young told the Daily last week that it’s possible the students won’t receive sanctions, but they were still required to go to the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity by May 6.

Some students told the Daily that they thought punishment would violate their First Amendment rights. Eight of the nine participants have hired Minneapolis lawyer Bruce Nestor to represent them.