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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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MSU disciplined 14 people for October riot


By Robb Murray, Free Press staff writer [published by The Free Press]

MANKATO " Of the 22 Minnesota State University students arrested during the October riot, 14 were disciplined by MSU, the university announced Monday.

MSU ordered those students to serve probation or suspension. The students also were ordered to perform community service and write "research and reflection papers."

Most of those cases, MSU said, were resolved within one month. On the remaining eight cases, MSU dismissed them because of lack of evidence.

The sanctions were the result of independent investigations conducted by the university. Of the 22 students, 21 faced misdemeanor charges while one faced a felony.

Because of data privacy issues, MSU cannot reveal the names of the students who were disciplined.

MSU President Richard Davenport said they've received praise from other institutions on how the university handled the riot, including how student discipline was handled.

"We acted promptly, identified the students and moved the students promptly though the process outlined in the student code of conduct," Davenport said. "Also, we made a real strong statement that, if the evidence was strong enough, we would take the most severe action outlined, that would be expulsion."

No one was expelled.

The riot - which is officially referred to as a "civil disturbance" by police and MSU - took place late Oct. 4 and early Oct. 5. Several thousand young people, both students and non-students, gathered in the area just off campus heavily saturated with apartment complexes.

Revelers started fires, some drank heavily, and some committed several thousand dollars' worth of damage. Police responded and called for help from other jurisdictions. By the end, more than 100 officers from more than 60 jurisdictions arrived. Many donned riot gear and were pelted with beer bottles, rocks and bricks. With outside help - including a helicopter - Mankato police quelled the disturbance and arrested 45 people by the time the sun rose Oct. 5.

Karen Wright, MSU's director of media relations, said the report was just released recently because several of the cases have just been adjudicated in court. Also, seven additional cases have been filed during the past few weeks. Those students may be subject to sanctions as well.

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