The long saga of Robert Barber’s expulsion and then suspension from Washington State University appears to be far from over.
Last week, the university declined to reduce or move Barber’s suspension, meaning he won’t be eligible to apply for reinstatement to the university until next summer. Cougfan did some excellent digging and found that the Student Conduct Board may have used a pretty flimsy piece of precedent as a point in their case to expel Barber last month. Their article also included this rather startling tid bit:
Today, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition in Seattle held a press conference, including Cougar legend Jack Thompson and State Senator Michael Baumgartner. There’s lots to get to from it but here is the most important part:
Attorney Arne Hedeen's statement on legal avenue Robert Barber pursuing for a stay: pic.twitter.com/COQIPYnwn3— COUGFANcom (@COUGFANcom) October 31, 2016
How quickly a judge would make a decision on such a petition I’m not sure but they can typically turn these things around fairly quickly. We’ll see what Barber decides to do this week but, baring some intervention from higher-ups, I would expect him to file the petition.
During their press conference at APIC in Seattle, Baumgartner explained why Barber’s year long suspension is particularly difficult on him as a student:
Sen Baumgartner says goal is to graduate students barring extreme misconduct.Robert Barber being denied diploma 1 credit short is outrageous— COUGFANcom (@COUGFANcom) October 31, 2016
Barber is, quite literally, sitting on 119 credits and if his suspension is upheld, would have to wait until the final summer session in 2017 to earn the credit and get his diploma, something Baumgartner noted in the press conference they want to ensure that Barber receives. Meanwhile, TJ Fehoko was also expelled from school and the APIC is curious as to why someone else involved in the fight was only put on probation.
Diana Nagasaki asks why Robert Barber and Fehoko only ones expelled by board when another while student fr party got sanctioned w/ probation— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) October 31, 2016
If Barber’s situation has been good for one thing, it has been pointing out the inadequacies of the Student Conduct Board. The university’s point that everything is above board constitutionally is all well and good but between this situation and other anecdotal evidence from others who have had dealings with the SCB, it seems far from fair.
That’s not just coming from students or your run-of-the-mill alums. It’s coming from a legendary football player:
Jack THompson: In talking to Robert, we just don’t feel that he was given justice..student conduct board, (has) been broken for a long time.— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) October 31, 2016
We’ll have to wait and see what Barber decides later this week but expect Wednesday to be a busy day when it comes to news about his status with Washington State.