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Three Undergraduates Expelled on Charges of Physical Violence

By Dev A. Patel and Steven R. Watros, Crimson Staff Writers

The Faculty Council voted to expel three undergraduates from the College in February, all of whom were charged with violating the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ rules on physical violence, FAS Dean Michael D. Smith announced at the monthly Faculty meeting on Tuesday.

Two of the students were found to have violated three additional rules, including those regarding drugs and alcohol, firearms, and use of University resources. On Feb. 5, a unanimous vote of the 15-person Council expelled the two students. At the same meeting, the Council voted 14 in favor, with one abstention, to expel the third student.

Smith did not name any of the three students, all of whom have been notified of their expulsions.

According to the Harvard College Handbook for Students, “Students are expected to avoid all physical conflicts, confrontations, and altercations unless their own safety or that of another is at extreme jeopardy.”

FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal declined to identify the last time a student was expelled, prior to Feb. 5.

Expulsion, the most extreme disciplinary action possible for students enrolled in the College, “signifies that the student is no longer welcome in the community,” according to the handbook. Once a student is expelled, that individual may never be readmitted and restored to good standing.

A vote by the Faculty Council is required for a student to be expelled. The student’s case must first be heard by the Administrative Board, which must vote both to require the student to withdraw from the College and to recommend to the Faculty Council that the student be expelled.

Members of the FAS unanimously voted in Oct. 2009 to reform the system by which a student is dismissed and expelled. Prior to that vote, the entire Faculty body would weigh in on such cases. A committee that began reviewing the Ad Board’s policies in Nov. 2007 originally suggested that the Faculty Council be given the authority to issue expulsions and dismissals as part of a larger set of reforms to the disciplinary process.

At December’s Faculty meeting, Smith announced that the Faculty Council had voted to dismiss a student for "multiple incidents of serious and persistent unwanted sexual contact.” Dismissal, which follows the same process as expulsion from the Ad Board to the Council, ends a student’s affiliation with the University, but with the possibility of eventual readmission.

—Staff writer Dev A. Patel can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @dev_a_patel.

—Staff writer Steven R. Watros can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveWatros.

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