Middlebury College in Vermont has again announced that it has disciplined students over their behavior during an event featuring conservative author Charles Murray on March 2.
The school announced late last month that it had disciplined more than 30 students for their behavior. Now, as then, the school declined to give details about what that discipline looked like. In the latest announcement, the school said that it had, in April, disciplined a total of 41 students.
“This week’s cases were heard in a group hearing Thursday night before the Community Judicial Board (CJB) of Middlebury College. The CJB is empaneled from a pool of trained community members and, when hearing a case, consists of four students, two faculty members, and two members of the staff,” the school announced. “The CJB concluded that the second stage of the protest behaviors merited stronger sanctions. These decisions bring to 60 the number of students who have received College discipline since the disruption of Murray’s talk.”
Notice the mention of “stronger sanctions,” yet the school doesn’t say what any of the sanctions have been so far. The announcement also says “several more students” will receive hearings this week, which should result in more sanctions. A Federalist inquiry to the school about the nature of these sanctions went unanswered prior to press time.
One student, Samantha Lamonte, said earlier this month she was put on probation for helping prevent Murray from speaking by standing up and chanting loudly so no one could hear him. This sanction will be removed from her record at the end of the semester.
The school appears to have separated the protest of Murray into three stages, according to the Burlington Free Press: When students prevented Murray from speaking, when they disrupted his livestream link, and when they injured professor Allison Stanger as she left with Murray.
Students who participated in the two later stages of the protest, banging on windows and pulling fire alarms while Murray tried to speak from a different location and rocking his car and injuring the professor, will receive permanent marks on their records, Lamonte told the Free Press.
Middlebury Police Chief Thomas Hanley also said last Thursday that some students were under criminal investigation for assaulting professor Stanger. Stanger isn’t even a supporter of Murray’s ideas. She was there to ask him difficult questions about his books.
The Middlebury student government voted in April to protest the discipline of students who impeded the event and attacked a professor. If schools continue to give in to such childish behavior without sending a message that it is unacceptable, more people will be physically injured on college campuses.
In addition to disciplining students, Middlebury is also forming a committee to “explore and discuss issues relating to the events of March 2, including, but not limited to, freedom of expression, inclusivity, and the educational and civic challenges of the 21st century.” A cursory look at those named to the committee does not instill much confidence that “freedom of expression” will truly be represented. Representatives from the American Enterprise Institute Club and College Republicans on campus, which hosted the attempted Murray event, said they didn’t recognize names on the list that would represent their interests.