Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2013

College punishing student, Kristopher Del Campo, for outing names of vandals of pro-life display

DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted to vandalizing his organization’s pro-life display.

pro life Roe V Wade display DePaul vandalizedThe student, Kristopher Del Campo, has been placed on probation after being found responsible for multiple conduct violations, including one that absurdly brands the publication of the names as “disorderly, violent, intimidating or dangerous.” The Foundation for Individual Rights In Education (FIRE) has intervened in his case.

“Kristopher Del Campo’s group was the victim of a politically motivated crime—and yet DePaul University is punishing Del Campo for naming the people who committed the crime,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “Unfortunately, this utter disregard for student rights has become par for the course at DePaul and too many other college campuses.”

On January 22, 2013, the DePaul chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), having attained the required permits, erected a pro-life display consisting of roughly 500 pink and blue flags planted in the ground of the campus quad to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wadedecision. That afternoon, numerous DePaul students vandalized the display by tearing the flags from the ground and throwing them in trash cans around campus.

Del Campo, YAF’s chairman, reported the vandalism to DePaul’s Department of Public Safety, which investigated.

With the investigation completed, DePaul Assistant Dean of Students Domonic Rollins provided Del Campo with a report from the Department of Public Safety, containing the names of 13 DePaul students who had admitted to vandalizing YAF’s display.

On February 5, the national YAF organization posted this document on its website. (see copy below)

pro life flags in trashcanOn February 8, DePaul notified Del Campo that he was suspected of violating DePaul’s Code Of Student Responsibility—including a charge of “Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating or Dangerous Behavior,” which encompasses “creat[ing] a substantial risk of physical harm,” “causing significant emotional harm,” and “bullying.”

“Punishing a student for naming those who committed a crime against him or her sets a very dangerous precedent,” said FIRE’s Shibley. “For example, would DePaul punish a female student for telling her friends to avoid a person who admitted to sexually assaulting her?”

“Students who purposefully vandalize the works of other students,” FIRE wrote, “should not expect to be shielded from the public consequences of their actions.”

Nevertheless, DePaul found Del Campo responsible for the charge of “Disorderly, Violent, Intimidating or Dangerous Behavior,” as well as a charge related to “Judicial Process Compliance.” Del Campo has been placed on disciplinary probation and is prohibited from all contact with the students named in the public safety report. DePaul has also required that Del Campo complete an “Educational Project” in the form of a reflection letter.

Del Campo plans to appeal these sanctions.

“It is deeply distressing that at DePaul University a student can be labeled a potentially violent threat simply for speaking about the injustice his group suffered at the hands of his fellow students,” said Peter Bonilla, associate director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “Del Campo and his group are the victims of a crime, not the perpetrators. DePaul must quickly undo this grave injustice against student rights and basic notions of fairness and decency.”

The “vandals” have support, calling it free speech:

“Maria” had posted a reply arguing that removing the flags was also an act of free speech.

I would just like to point out that taking down the flags was just as much of an act of freedom of speech as putting them up were. I think for a man (Kris) to push his views on a college campus, where many women do not believe a man has any right to say one way or another what to do with their bodies, he got what he deserved. The students showed their right to activism in the opposite but same way as the DePaul YAF chapter did. They made a bold statement by putting those flags up, and a bold statement was made in return by taking them down. It [may] have upset YAF, but that was in no way shape or form vandalism. Vandalism at DePaul is detrimental damage to any building or piece of property. The flags were on school property but not a part of the school’s property, and they were not shredded to pieces, they were simply thrown in the trash by students making a statement just like YAF was. To have students punished for making the same but opposite statement as YAF would be destructive to the college atmosphere, and how we are encouraged to question, think, and grow here has young adults. Nobody made a big fuss when they were put up, there should certainly not be a fuss made because someone made their own statement by taking them down.

Student admitted to vandalizing DePaul pro life display

Photos via Facebook

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  1. Anonymous's Grandma says:

    I am ashamed of my rotton grandchild who has gotten MANY abortions herself. She is a rude young lady who piggyback’s her race and her mother’s POOR Work Ethic (lack of money) to get free money from DePaul.

    I am sorry to everyone for my apparently failure in teaching my daughter how to PROPERLY Raise a child.

  2. Vatar says:

    What you did was a hate crime, because you did not target Del Campo, you did it to send a message to a whole class of people because they are different than you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    OMG! I can’t believe they equated us with rapists. We got punished too. Because Del Campos released my name I’ve gotten threatening emails and facebook messages. All I did was pull some flags.

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