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University reaches settlement with students facing conduct charges from Wheeler Hall sit-in

– The University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Friday, Feb. 21) that it has reached a settlement agreement with most of the students facing student conduct charges stemming from a protest and sit-in last spring inside Wheeler Hall, a major classroom building on campus.

The two sides have reached a resolution that the university considers just. The terms of the agreement, including any imposition of disciplinary measures, are confidential under federal student privacy laws, state laws, as well as the settlement agreement between the students and the campus's Student Judicial Affairs office.

The agreement is a complete and final settlement that will officially end the pending cases for students who signed the agreement. So far, 24 of the 31 students facing conduct hearings have signed the agreement and the university counsel has been assured that the remaining students are expected to sign the agreement.

The conduct cases stem from an April 9, 2002, incident in which 78 people, including 41 students, occupied Wheeler Hall while classroom instruction was underway and refused police orders to leave. The action followed a rally on the steps of Sproul Hall by Students for Justice in Palestine.

Each academic year, the Student Judicial Affairs office handles more than 500 student conduct cases involving students charged with violations of the campus's Code of Student Conduct. Violations can range from academic dishonesty to trespassing to assault. The majority of these cases end with a settlement agreement, although students always have the right to request a conduct hearing before a hearing panel that is typically made up of faculty, students and staff.