University taking Koala to J-Board

Representatives of The Koala will appear before UCSD’s Judicial Board on May 13. Members of The Koala are charged with violating student conduct code by disturbing a Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan meeting in November 2001, according to The Koala’s editor in chief, Geoge Liddle.

The Judicial Board hearing comes after The Koala rejected a university-initiated informal resolution that would have suspended the publication from campus for one year while placing The Koala on probation for another five years, according to Liddle.

UCSD officials would not confirm that formal Judicial Board procedures are being carried out against The Koala due to campus policies regarding the confidentiality of student conduct matters. However, sources closely related to the investigation as well as The Koala said the hearings are scheduled for next week.

According to Liddle, the publication is drawing fire from the UCSD administration because Koala members attended a MEChA meeting Nov. 19, 2001, where photographs of MEChA officer Ernesto Martinez were taken. Although the photographs of Martinez were used in an issue of The Koala later that month, Liddle contends that a person without any Koala or UCSD affiliation submitted the photos to the humor paper.

Martinez would not comment on the investigation.

According to Liddle, The Koala agreed to an informal resolution proposed by the UCSD administration earlier this year for multiple conduct code violations, including the organization of a wet T-shirt contest at Porter’s Pub — an event billed as a “”talent show”” on university documents.

Another charge was that “”The UCSD Koala”” appeared in the header of several pages in a recent issue, incorrectly implying that the material printed in the publication was affiliated with UCSD.

According to Koala principal member Jeremy Rode, the accepted resolution effectively placed The Koala on probation for the remainder of this school year.

The current investigation is based on the allegations that The Koala and some of its members participated in the violation of section of the UCSD student conduct code, which prohibits the “”obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other UCSD or University activities.””

Liddle maintains that UCSD’s claims are illegitimate.

“”The charges are bullshit,”” Liddle said. “”[The administration] is using a regulation to shut down an organization it doesn’t like. When policy is used in this manner, that’s contrary to the freedoms given to us in the Bill of Rights.””

Two members of The Koala have already been individually charged with the same violation, but have arrived at informal resolutions with the university, according to Liddle.