Few students turned out on Tuesday for the opening session of the University of Arizona “Campus Conversation” series in the aftermath of the recent campus controversy in which students harassed and stalked Border Patrol agents.
The event was supposed to focus on free speech, but students regularly denied speakers the opportunity to be heard.
Arizona lawmakers criticized the Pima County Attorney’s Office for dismissing the misdemeanor charges against three students. Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall dismissed the charges against the students last week.
“As an alumnus, I’m proud that the University of Arizona under President Robbins’ leadership has worked to promote and protect the free speech rights of students,” said Rep. Leo Biasiucci. “Students should be using ideas and facts to support their positions, not threats and intimidation. The Pima County Attorney’s decision to dismiss these charges is unfortunate, but I’m hopeful that the Attorney General’s office will give it a fair review if asked.”
“Officials from the U.S. Border Patrol were invited on campus to deliver a classroom presentation, and the University of Arizona took appropriate measures to protect the free speech rights of all students,” said Senator Vince Leach. “It’s unfortunate that the Pima County Attorney has decided that the rights of some students are more important than others. Because this incident occurred at one of our state universities, the Arizona Attorney General should pursue the matter.”
The students had been charged with interference of the peaceful conduct of an educational institution, and one of the students faced an additional charge of threats and intimidation for disrupting a classroom presentation delivered by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Those students are now demanding an apology from University of Arizona Robert Robbins.
Robbins can apologize to Border Patrol but not his own student body? Yikes. pic.twitter.com/96ih030FaS
— Coalition for The Arizona 3 (@CoalitionAZ3) April 23, 2019
Earlier this month, students held a small protest in response to the charges being filed by University of Arizona Police.
An unidentified activist issued their demand of University of Arizona officials: 1) drop all charges against the student protesters, 2) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to be banned from campus, and 3) no Border Patrol agents be allowed on campus.
A woman, who we are only able to identify by the last name Rainey, introduced herself as a member of Black Lives Matter and the Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund. In her speech, Rainey tells students, “The people of this campus are part of this town. And this town does not like Border Patrol. This town does not welcome ICE. This town is about building trust.”
— Ali Watts (@AliWatts13) April 7, 2019