College drops disciplinary charges against conservative student

Siena College has dropped charges against a student who posted hundreds of flyers to raise awareness of the hostility conservatives face from professors. 

Zachary Butler, a junior studying political science, told Campus Reform last week that he posted roughly 600 flyers depicting an email exchange in which a Siena College professor called conservative students “miserable” to work with. 

As Campus Reform reported, Professor Jenn McErlean sent an email on March 20 announcing that she quit her school’s committee on civil discourse because the thought of working with conservative students was “making me miserable.” 

[RELATED: Conservative student under investigation for posting flyers]

Though Butler was not involved in the initial email exchange, he told Campus Reform that he was deeply dismayed by the school’s lack of reaction to it. To him, the email was symbolic of the overarching climate of hostility towards conservatives on campus, and he wanted to help fix it. 

“So in order to keep the dialogue going, I took it upon myself—with the help of a friend—to post 600 co  pies of that email all over campus,” Butler said, adding that all 600 flyers were posted overnight on March 22. 

Though he was initially charged with violating the school flyering policy and negatively impacting the  “health, welfare, and/or safety” of the school community, his April 10 meeting with the school conduct officer—a few days after Campus Reform’s initial story on the issue—revealed that both charges had been dropped. 

[RELATED: New policy would make it easier for UMD to punish students]

Just a few days after the disciplinary meeting, Butler told Campus Reform that it was “ridiculous” that he was charged with negatively impacting the “health, welfare and/or safety” of the campus simply by posting flyers. 

“It is mind boggling to me how my posting of the email was any more damaging to the name of the school and welfare of the community than the content of the email itself,” Butler said. 

It is unclear why the school pressed that charge against him in the first place. Butler said he inquired about it during the disciplinary meeting, but didn’t receive a clear response. 

Siena College also declined to answer any que

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