The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Call for expulsion not fair prior to conviction

Will Johnson

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Dear Editor,

I am grudgingly writing in response to the statements made by Kevin Malay in the last issue of The Northerner. Honestly, I don’t want to, but after taking the time to read through his scathing rant about the university’s stance in regards to the recent issue with Michael Powell, I feel that it is more than necessary for me to do so.

In his letter, Mr. Malay made it abundantly clear that he felt Powell should be expelled from the university based solely upon the fact that he was, in Mr. Malay’s opinion, “a menace to society.” As a law-abiding student, I feel compelled to agree that anyone who threatens the safety of this campus and its students should undoubtedly be prevented from doing so.

However, as a person that has a general understanding of the American legal system and has, you know, read a book… it is difficult for me to not consider such judgment in regards to Powell as more than a bit rash. Based upon the information provided not only by The Northerner but other noteworthy publications as well, I have concluded that Powell has been charged with a crime… not convicted of one.

Correct me if I’m wrong (and I often am – just look at my Final Four picks) but doesn’t the very basis of our nation’s legal structure declare that an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty?

Admittedly, I’m not a lawyer, but I have watched enough episodes of “Boston Legal” to consider myself somewhat of an authority. With that said, if Powell has yet to be found guilty, shouldn’t that mean that he deserves to be treated in the same manner as any other student on this campus until a verdict has been reached? Well, according to Kevin Malay, the answer to this question is obviously a resound “no.”

Personally, I find it absolutely dumbfounding that Mr. Malay, a person who, according to his major and minor, has a substantial interest in the law, would so hastily pass judgment while blatantly ignoring the fundamentals of the legal system itself. Additionally, I find it equally dumbfounding that Mr. Malay, assumedly an educated individual, is able to make such generalized statements in regards to the black students on campus as well.

Malay wrote, “The black students want to turn this, and every other issue, into a racial issue.”

Wow, I was totally unaware that anyone was in tune with the thoughts of every single African American student on this campus. Please, Mr. Malay, I would love to know what magical powers you possess that allow you to accomplish such a feat, what uncanny abilities provide you with such superb insight. Such an incredible gift should undoubtedly be shared with the world!

To wrap things up, I’m appalled at the statements made by Kevin Malay.

To expel a student after he/she has been convicted of a criminal act on campus is one thing. But to expel a student who has been convicted of nothing is another. Michael Powell is, above all else, a person and a student at this university. And, until the law decides otherwise, he should be treated that way.

As for you, Mr. Malay, I hope you have a long and prosperous career in law. In fact, I suggest that you include the letter you submitted to The Northerner March 23 with all of the resumes that you send out to prospective employers. I’m certain they would love to see just how expertly you grasp (or awkwardly fumble) the concept of justice.

Will Johnson

RTV/psychology

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Call for expulsion not fair prior to conviction