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‘Wheeler 79’ students accept deal

By David Scharfenberg
Monday September 16, 2002

A handful of pro-Palestinian students involved in the April takeover of UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall have accepted disciplinary action, according to university officials. 

Dean of Students Karen Kenney said she could not discuss the specifics, citing student confidentiality. But she confirmed that, in some cases, the deal includes a probationary period of a semester or more. If there are no further violations, students will receive marks on their records but will not face suspension or any other penalty, she said. 

Kenney said some of the 41 students facing conduct charges, which range from trespassing to disturbing the peace to disobeying a university official, have not yet reported to her office to face those charges.  

But the university has offered similar deals, known as “informal resolutions,” to any students who have appeared and will make the same offer to the remaining students, she said. 

Students can either accept an informal resolution or take part in a hearing before a student conduct board composed of faculty, staff and students. 

The student conduct board can dismiss the charges or recommend penalties ranging up to expulsion. Kenney has the final say on any punishment. 

“We hope to resolve all these cases, one way or the other, by the end of October,” Kenney said. 

The 41 students were among 79 people arrested by UC Berkeley police after occupying Wheeler Hall and demanding that the nine-campus University of California system divest from Israel. 

UC’s Board of Regents has come out against the divestment movement. 

Last spring the Alameda County District Attorney dropped all criminal charges against the “Wheeler 79” in exchange for the payment of court fees.