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Middlebury College Completes Sanctioning Process for March 2 Disruptions

May 23, 2017

Correction: This story originally misstated the total number of students whom the College disciplined. In total, the College disciplined 74 students, not 67. The additional seven students were in the first group of students who, as of April 17, had accepted disciplinary sanctions for their actions without a hearing.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College has completed the disciplinary process for all of the students who could be identified as participating in disruptive actions on March 2 during and after the scheduled talk on campus by political scientist Charles Murray.

Middlebury launched an independent investigation shortly after the March 2 incident. Investigators reviewed photographic and video evidence of events and gathered multiple eyewitness statements and other accounts. The investigation also looked into the physical confrontation that occurred after the event on the sidewalk and parking lot outside Wilson Hall. The investigators’ work, which is now concluded, provided the basis for disciplinary action.

The sanctions were assessed following findings that students violated either or both of the institution’s Demonstrations and Protests and Respect for Persons policies.

In total, the College disciplined 74 students with sanctions ranging from probation to official College discipline, which places a permanent record in the student’s file. Some graduate schools and employers require individuals to disclose official college discipline in their applications.

Forty-eight students received sanctions from the College administration for participating in the first stage of the disruptive protest in Wilson Hall. The remaining 26 students, who faced more serious consequences for actions in the hall and outside the building, were sanctioned by the College’s Community Judicial Board, which held group and individual hearings in May. The Community Judicial Board is empaneled from a pool of trained community members and, when hearing a case, consists of up to four students, two faculty members, and two members of the staff. 

Information about individual student sanctions is considered confidential under federal law. Today’s announcement concludes the College’s review and response to the events of March 2.

Separately, the Middlebury Police Department (MPD) today announced that it had concluded its investigation into the violence that took place following the event as Murray and Professor Allison Stanger left the building. The department said it has been unable to identify any specific individual responsible for the injuries sustained by Stanger. MPD also said it had established that as many as eight masked individuals were in the area and used tactics indicating training in obstruction. Further, the department said that while it had identified a number of other people who were in the crowd of more than 20 people outside the event venue, “on consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated in damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot.”