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Police officers surround protesters in Baker Center on February 1.

Ohio University won't pursue community standards sanctions against students arrested in Baker protest

Clarification appended

The Ohio University Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility will not be pursuing any disciplinary actions against the students arrested during a Feb. 1 demonstration in Baker Center.

OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said in an email Thursday that the university makes student conduct decisions separately from criminal court proceedings.

“Federal privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on disciplinary matters pertaining to individual students,” Leatherwood said. “However, we can share that the university will not proceed with any disciplinary action against anyone in connection with the February 1 protest.”

Leatherwood had said in an email on Feb. 3 that all of the arrested students would face discipline because being arrested or cited by police is a violation of university policy.

The criminal trespassing charges against the remaining demonstrators arrested during the Feb. 1 protest were dismissed Wednesday after OU Police Chief Andrew Powers asked the city prosecutor to drop the charges.

Michael Mayberry, the first of the 70 arrested protesters to have his case heard before a judge, was found not guilty in the Athens Municipal Court on Monday. Judge Todd Grace ruled that the university’s decision to keep Baker Center open late for a 2014 demonstration established the area as a designated public forum. The prosecutors had insufficient evidence to prove that the protesters blocked entry and exit to the building and therefore needed to be removed, Grace wrote in his decision.

In a Wednesday news release, Powers stood by his decision to order the arrest of the protesters, but said he was asking the city to drop the charges out of “fairness” to the remaining defendants after Mayberry’s verdict.

Powers and university officials had previously said asking the prosecutor to drop the charges would undermine the legal system, which they said allows for an “independent review” of police actions.


Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify Carly Leatherwood's name. 

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