Brown University will form a committee to consider bringing disciplinary charges against students involved in last week’s protest, which resulted in the cancellation of a planned speech by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
A few days after The Daily Caller reported that there was no evidence Brown officials intended to hold the hecklers responsible for their actions, University President Christina Paxson announced the creation of a “Committee on the Events of October 29th” that will ostensibly do just that.
The committee will consist of five faculty members, two undergraduate students and one graduate student. The group will be tasked with investigating the protest and deciding whether to punish the students who shouted over Kelly until the event was cancelled. (RELATED: Liberal mob shouts down speaker at Brown U, calls it ‘free speech’ [VIDEO])
“I strongly believe that Brown must be a place that supports the free exchange of ideas, even if it means making space for points of view that are controversial or deeply upsetting,” wrote Paxson in a statement. “Making an exception to the principle of open expression jeopardizes the right of every person on this campus to speak freely and engage in open discussion.”
Brown’s Code of Conduct forbids protests that interfere with the rights of other community members to attend events and use university facilities.
If the committee determines that students involved in the protest have violated the code of conduct, it will refer them to an unspecified adjudicative board.
“In similar episodes that have occurred at Brown in the past, students who violated the Code of Student Conduct have been asked to accept responsibility for their actions,” noted Paxson.
Some 70 percent of students believe the protesters were wrong to shut down the event, according to The Brown Daily Herald. Despite this, Brown administrators have been reluctant to confront the leaders of the protest, and have instead offered them additional opportunities to further their radical cause. (RELATED: Will Brown U. punish the leftist students who ended free speech on campus?)
Paxson has not responded to inquiries from TheDC regarding the structure of the committee and her personal views on whether the students should be punished.