Eastern Michigan University president James Smith has announced all sanctions against those disciplined for a fall sit-in -protest, have been dropped. Read the statement from Smith and the joint statement from leaders of campus student groups below.
President Smith statement on dismissal of sanctions
"In consultation with the Provost and administrative leadership, I have directed the immediate dismissal of sanctions imposed against students involved in the after-hours protest in the Student Center on November 2, 2016.
I have stated on several occasions that it was not the proper role of any administrator to intervene in an ongoing conduct process. Now that the judicial process is complete, it is time for the campus community to move forward. The unique and compelling circumstances associated with this situation warrant this action.
I am grateful to the students and others who spoke out on the matters surrounding these events. I recognize that these have been trying and challenging times for many of them.
We have much to look forward to on Eastern’s campus surrounding our diversity initiatives. We are making significant progress on the Black Student 10-Point Plan, and we have appointed a Presidential Commission on Diversity and Inclusion that includes an esteemed group of scholars, students and administrators.
We vow to continue to investigate and hopefully arrest the person(s) involved in the racist vandalism that took place on our campus early this fall. This remains a top priority.
It is important for all of us to remember that someone attacked our institution with messages of hate, likely because Eastern has embraced diversity and inclusiveness as a cornerstone value. The University administration joins with our students, faculty, staff and alumni in condemning the racist vandalism.
It remains the policy of the University to have a set of community standards as detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. Uniform application of the standards benefits the entire community. Eastern’s response to the actions of the students on the night of November 2 was consistent with those standards. It was accomplished with the utmost integrity and I am grateful to our Student Affairs’ administrators and our Public Safety officers for their demonstrated professionalism. But it is time to move forward now and give our full attention to constructively addressing the opportunities we face.
I also would like to reiterate that Eastern Michigan University has always and will continue to support the rights of our students to peacefully demonstrate, within the guidelines as detailed in the Student Code of Conduct.
I look forward to working with our entire community in the weeks and months ahead as we continue to build a campus environment that embodies our values of respect, equality and inclusion."
Statement from students:
"We appreciate Eastern Michigan University’s decision to dismiss the conduct charges against students who were involved in an after-hours protest in the Student Center in November 2016.
We understand that the conduct process needed to be completed, and we applaud President Smith’s decision to drop the charges so that we as a student body can continue to move forward in our fight to end institutionalized racism. We look forward to uniting and working closely with him and other administrators and student leaders in a constructive manner on the many initiatives underway to enhance Eastern's inclusiveness. There is much work to do, and we are eager to get to work as allies. We urge other students to join us in this commitment."
- Tanasia Morton, Student Government President
- Darius Anthony, EMU NAACP President
- Jaren Johnson, EMU Black Student Union President