Thursday, December 20, 2012

Injustice at K-State:

How the Kansas State University Judicial System Almost Expelled an Innocent Man


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is part of the 9 post story “Injustice at K-State” that documents my interactions with the K-State judicial system. It was originally written November 19, 2012 and was edited over Thanksgiving Break. I published it during Winter Break.]


This semester I found myself in the middle of the Kansas State University Judicial System and learned firsthand how miserably it fails to protect the rights of students.

Until fairly recently, I didn’t check my K-State e-mail account virtually at all. I was under the impression that all I would receive were the unimportant “here’s what’s going on at K-State” emails. And that got me into a lot of trouble.

On Wednesday, October 17, I finally paid my tuition for the semester. The payment had incurred late fees because I forgot to fill out the income verification forms that needed to be submitted in addition to the FAFSA form. I waited for those forms to go through before realizing that my father needed to use an IRS Data Retrieval Tool to collect more information before I could be awarded Pell Grants. When I paid my tuition, I saw that I had other holds on my account that would prevent me from enrolling in my next semester classes, including one from the Office of Student Life. I had no idea what that was about. I decided to ask my advisor about it at my advising meeting with him the next day.

On Thursday October 18, I had my advising meeting at 1:30 PM. Everything seemed to go well. I was on track to have the classes I needed to graduate. However, he told me that he was no longer my advisor because I had been accepted into my major and that I had a new advisor. He said that I should have been notified of this through a letter or by email. I told him that I probably received it through my email, but that I don’t check my email very often. I asked him about the hold from the Office of Student Life and he said he didn’t know what it was about and gave me the office’s phone number.

After the meeting I called the Office of Student Life and asked them what the hold was about. The woman on the phone told me that a Dean at the Office of Student Life had attempted to set up a meeting with me through email and did not receive a reply. I asked what the meeting request was about and she told me it was confidential. I asked her what the Office of Student Life did and that didn’t give me any hint as to what the Dean would want to talk to me about. I told the person on the phone that I would check my email.

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