Students and Parents Against Probation Before Judgment sign now

Background Information:

In the spring of 2002, the University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor and Board of Regents created a policy in response to the student riots that occurred on and around the University of Maryland, College Park, after their mens basketball team won the NCAA Championship and subsequent games thereafter. This policy sought to presumptively dismiss those students who were found guilty in a court of law or campus judicial proceeding of assault, breech of the peace, arson, rioting, vandalism, or theft. Essentially, these students would be expelled from their University pending a campus judicial proceeding.

However, after additional student rioting occurred following other mens basketball games AND some students werent expelled after being arrested, the USM Board of Regents looked into what they could do to toughen-up the policy to stop these events from happening and why these students werent expelled. Below is what they found.

- These students were not expelled because they entered into a plea bargain known as Probation before Judgment (PBJ) an agreement between the prosecution and defense on a punishment for a person as to avoid going to trial. The University of Maryland, College Park, administration argued that they could not presumptively dismiss students who were given PBJ because it wasnt included in the policy, and therefore, did not have the authority to expel these students.

Currently, after learning this, the USM Board of Regents and Chancellor are seeking to amend this policy to include PBJ as a presumptively dismissible offense. However, instead of looking into why student rioting begins in the first place, they chose to draft revisions to this policy that are overly broad. Below is a summary of their revisions.

- Include ALL other criminal offenses as presumptively dismissible offenses.
- Changes who signs-off on giving a student a lesser penalty than expulsion or suspension from a universitys chief student affairs officer to a campus judicial proceeding.
- Addition of PBJ as a presumptively dismissible offense.

By signing this petition, I agree with the University System of Maryland Student Council
- That including ALL other criminal offenses is overly broad, and could be applied to things that were never intended to be included in this policy. When taken to its extreme, this provision could include such offenses as jay walking, which is certainly not an expellable offense. To insure that this policy isnt taken out of context, the types of offenses a student could be expelled for should be those that are the most serious and hazardous to the campus and community merely being at a riot is not enough to warrant expulsion.
- That by changing who signs-off on giving student a lesser penalty than expulsion or suspension, the USM Board of Regents and Chancellor move the accountability for implementing this policy onto a Campus Judicial Board when it should be with the highest ranking chief student affairs officer the person who is on the payroll to make sure these policies are enforced.
- That PBJ should not be included in this policy unless a student got a PBJ for a serious offense although, that is nearly impossible. PBJ is only given to people who have clean criminal records, and includes numerous amounts of community service (100 hours), hefty fines, and a probationary period of three to four months where a person cannot have any encounters with the law (speeding tickets, etc.) If they do, they have to go to trial for the offense they received the PBJ for. Theoretically, a person couldnt get a PBJ for grand arson, murder, and the like because the prosecution would never agree to that. However, if they did, they should be presumptively dismissed. We feel that students should not be presumptively dismissed for not getting out of the way of a police officer fast enough which, in fact, is what students were getting PBJs for.
- That the Board of Regents and Chancellor should recognize that the College Park Administration needs to take progressive steps in addressing why rioting happens students want to celebrate a big win, but have no place to go or something to do. The Board of Regents should mandate the College Park Administration to come up with a post-celebration action plan, and report to the Board periodically on the success or failure of the plan. At least this way, most avenues to stop rioting would be addressed before students are potentially expelled for other criminal offenses.

To view the actual letter the USMSC sent to the Board of Regents and Chancellor can be found at http://www.usmd.edu/Leadership/Workgroups/StudentCouncil

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Information

Warren HolmesBy:
FoodIn:
Petition target:
Board of Regents and Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM)

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