Asian Pacific Islander groups calling for appeal hearing for Barber

The university will start a 60-day formal review of the WSU Student Conduct Board this week due to possible bias and discrimination in the suspension of WSU football player Robert Barber.

Two statewide Asian Pacific Islander advocacy groups alleged that the conduct board denied Barber his due process rights and are calling on WSU President Kirk Schulz to grant the senior nose tackle an appeal hearing, according to an Oct. 27 Seattle Times article.

In the article, Diane Narasaki, co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition (APIC) King County Chapter said, “We are concerned that WSU’s student conduct processes are flawed.”

APIC and representatives from the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs met with Schulz this month to discuss the actions taken and the process that led to the conduct board’s decision.

“We’re not asking for preferential treatment for student-athletes,” Narasaki said in the article. “We’re asking for fair process for all students.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Melynda Huskey stated in an Oct. 28 news release that all due process requirements have been met.

“Numerous court cases have found our process meets all legal due process requirements,” Huskey said. “The university has no reason to implement or support an unfair process … There is no benefit to anyone in over-penalizing students.”

WSU’s Student Conduct Board has come under fire before for their decisions. A WSU student was expelled after being charged with rape. He denied the allegations and said that it was consensual. A superior court judge overturned the conduct board’s decision due to not following prescribed procedures during the cross examination portion of the hearing.

Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner posted on twitter saying “The Student Conduct Board process at WSU is broken, lacks the basic constitutional safeguards of due process and needs to be fixed.”

Baumgartner attended a news conference in Seattle yesterday in support of Barber and criticized the university’s actions in the case.

Baumgartner stated that Barber should be allowed to finish his education.

“Governor and WSU Regents should immediately reinstate Robert Barber and allow him to finish (his) degree,” he stated. “The costs to public are substantial.”

Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect the fact that a superior court judge, not the Supreme Court, overturned the conduct board’s decision to expel a student who allegedly raped a woman.