UA Law student group asks university administrators to stop policing off-campus gatherings


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A University of Arkansas Law student group wrote a letter that claimed administrators are going too far by trying to police off-campus gatherings.

Hannah Malone was a member of the group, and she called the policy “vague,” adding it’s imperative that law students don’t get penalized unjustly.

“Any policies that we break get reported to the character and fitness part of our bar exam,” Malone said.

After receiving an email explaining that UA administrators could take action against those reported as breaking COVID-19 guidelines off campus, Malone and others decided to write the letter and send it to Vice Chancellor Charles Robinson.

“The policy was vague,” Malone said. “It didn’t really outline exactly what behavior was going to be punished and how it was going to be punished, what evidence made a report verified.”

The group met with Robinson on Monday. In a statement, he lauded the outcome of the meeting but didn’t promise to remove the policy, though the UofA lifted its ban on on-campus events Sept. 18.

“Today’s meeting was amicable and constructive,” Robinson said in the statement. “They raised questions and shared their concerns, and I listened and responded. I thought that the meeting went very well, and I felt that we all left with ideas and positive energy for moving forward.” 

Malone praised Robinson for his willingness to sit down and discuss the issue.

“Vice Chancellor Robinson, he was super receptive, he was awesome to talk to,” Malone said.

In the letter and meeting, the group laid out ways the UofA can better attack COVID-19’s spread without placing full blame on the students.

“Temperature checks, daily symptom checks, things of that nature [can be] put in place before we go to this very broad-based policy,” Malone said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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