Possible University of Michigan Abuses of Power

This page summarizes other questionable actions of the University of Michigan against its students.

Stoney Burke

On 3/13/95, Stoney Burke (a popular figure in Ann Arbor) was threatened with arrest by University Police after he said "Fuck Newt Gingrich" during a monologue on current events. Police confiscated his driver's license (Stoney is a cab driver). A police supervisor, Lt. Wesley Skowron, told a student reporter that DPS gives tickets for profanity, but only in front of women and children.

Hash Bash

The "Hash Bash", an annual marijuana legalization rally, has faced repeated attempts by the university to remove it from campus. In 1989, the university demanded a written promise from NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) that its members would not "commit acts nor incite persons attending the event to commit criminal acts at the even, e.g., using illegal drugs or publicly consuming alcohol." In 1990, the university refused a permit, but was overruled by a local judge. In 1992, the university again refused a permit, and was again overruled by the same judge. In 1993, the university attempted to charge NORML over $9,000 for security expenses, and was again overruled by the judge. In 1994 and 1995, the university again tried to charge NORML even more for security, and again was overruled by the same judge. ACLU attorney Milton Hill estimates UM has legal expenses into 6 figures from trying to stop Hash Bash.


[Name redacted for privacy reasons] was improperly convicted of "harassment" under the University's SSRR. Standards of evidence, hearing procedure, and statute of limitations defined in the SSRR were violated in the case. [redacted] was not allowed representation by an attorney and was not allowed to reasonably represent herself by the judge in the case. [redacted] has filed a civil lawsuit against the University.
(5/17/95)`U' denies appeal in harassment case

Other Universities

(11/17/95) Cornell may punish 4 students for lewd e-mail
A Michigan Daily report of a similar incident at Cornell University.
(11/20/95) Four Cornell students not punished for offensive e-mail
"Not guilty" under student conduct code, but they "volunteer" reparations anyway.