Franklin College student allegedly faces suspension for sending ‘objectionable’ Snapchats
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A Franklin College student faces suspension from the school over Snapchats sent to other members of the student’s recently-suspended fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, according to the student’s attorney.
According to attorney Maritza Webb, the college will hold a second disciplinary hearing on misconduct allegations against Patrick Clark. Clark was originally suspended indefinitely by Vice President of Student Affairs Dean Ellis Hall on March 14, Webb claims. The attorney says the decision was overturned after an appeal by Franklin College President Thomas Minar.
“Clark’s suspension was swiftly imposed by Dean Hall through an egregious violation of Clark’s rights as a student at Franklin College. No criminal allegations have been made against Clark; rather, [Franklin College] is simply persecuting Clark for private communications that expressed an opinion the school found objectionable. . . The college now continues its crusade against Clark as it restarts the judicial process but still shows no intention of providing Clark with a fair and impartial hearing,” said Webb.
Franklin College Director of Communications Deidra Baumgardner issued this statement to FOX59:
Due to federal regulations regarding student privacy issues, the college is unable to discuss individual student matters.
Webb says the college can rely on its findings made on the original decision during the second hearing.
The attorney also claims Clark is the only student from the fraternity who has been disciplined by the college as a result of allegations that prompted the chapter’s suspension by the national office. The house closed on April 6.
The General Council of Phi Delta Theta cited the chapter’s risk management violations and failing chapter operations for the decision. In an email about the closure, Franklin College disclosed that it had previously taken action against the fraternity concerning student misconduct.
Webb claims that Clark is an honors student and has no prior criminal or disciplinary history.
“The school’s actions suggest that the swift discipline taken against Clark may be no more than a token response to [PDT’s] suspension, leaving unaddressed serious incidents, including illegal behavior of which the school has direct knowledge,” said Webb.