AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of students rallied at the Whitmore Administration Building last week, calling on the university to drop its investments in fossil fuel companies. There were 34 trespassing arrests.
UMass spokesman Daniel Fitzgibbons told 22News each of the 28 students who were arrested face the risk of suspension. He said each student will have a one-on-one meeting with someone from the Dean’s Office. They’ll have the opportunity to plea their case.
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Fitzgibbons said according to the school’s code of conduct, students could get let off with a warning at best, or expulsion at the worst. However, he said expulsion is reserved for the “heinous” crimes, usually involving some type of violent act. Every student who was arrested, peacefully volunteered to be taken into custody. Therefore, Fitzgibbons said he does not predict any student would be expelled.
If a student and a representative from the Dean’s Office cannot come to an agreement, the student has the right to argue his or her case before a conduct hearing board, which would then make a recommendation to the Dean. Each student is expected to have their meeting by the end of the month.
Students said they plan to resume their protests Tuesday. Fitzgibbons said any student who was arrested, cannot legally be on the Whitmore property. 22News will let you know what happens.