MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Officials of the Middlebury Police Department on Wednesday announced that they were unable to identify any individuals responsible for injuring Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger following a campus event featuring conservative political scientist and author Charles Murray.
The March 2 incident, which saw raucous leftist students and outside protesters shout down guest lecturer Murray, received worldwide attention. Stanger was violently assaulted by protesters as she and Murray made their way to their car after the event abruptly ended. Stanger was taken to nearby Porter Hospital and treated for a neck injury.
The police department said it has identified many individuals who made up a crowd of more than 20 people outside the student union that night, but not the assailants.
“On consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated in damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot,” the department said in a media release.
Stanger was approached by as many as eight masked persons as she and Murray left the McCullough Student Center auditorium that evening. She had been escorting Murray from the building amid protesters both inside, and outside, the student union.
Earlier in the evening, students preventing Murray from delivering a speech.
Murray, the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank, is co-author of the controversial sociology book “The Bell Curve.” A student-led club invited him to Middlebury College to discuss his 1994 book, “Losing Ground.”
The protest inside the student center auditorium included students turning their backs on Murray when he walked on stage to present his lecture. With their backs to the stage and Murray at the speaker’s podium, students chanted, read prepared scripts and held up posters with protest slogans such as “White Supremacy is the Enemy,” “Race is a Construct” and “F— Eugenics.”
Murray has never referred to, nor supported, the controversial pseudoscience of eugenics in his academic work.
Following the protest, Murray was labeled a “troll” by Middlebury scholar and climate activist Bill McKibben.
Also on Wednesday, Middlebury College officials announced the completion of “a disciplinary process” for all identifiable students who participated in disruptive and violent actions at the aborted Murray lecture.
Launched shortly after the incident, the college’s two-month-long investigation included the review of photographic and video materials showing various stages of the protest. Investigators also interviewed eyewitnesses and collected accounts of the event.
“The investigation also looked into the physical confrontation that occurred after the event on the sidewalk and parking lot outside Wilson Hall. The investigators’ work, which is now concluded, provided the basis for disciplinary action. … Students violated either or both of the institution’s ‘Demonstrations and Protests and Respect for Persons’ policies,” a news release from the college states.
College officials disciplined 67 students, and 41 students received sanctions from the administration for participating in the first stage of the protest, held in Wilson Hall near the student union.
“The remaining 26 students, who faced more serious consequences for actions in the hall and outside the building, were sanctioned by the college’s Community Judicial Board, which held group and individual hearings in May,” according to the college.
“The Community Judicial Board is empaneled from a pool of trained community members and, when hearing a case, consists of up to four students, two faculty members, and two members of the staff.”
The college did not release the names of the disciplined and sanctioned students. Details regarding the identification of individual students are considered confidential by federal law.
Within days of his March 2 appearance at Middlebury College, Murray wrote about his experience on his American Enterprise Institute blog. He stated that “penalties imposed on the protesters need to be many and severe.” However, he also wrote that did not expect college officials to treat the students with a heavy hand.
“The pressure to refrain from suspending and expelling large numbers of students will be intense,” Murray wrote. “Parents will bombard the administration with explanations of why their little darlings are special people whose hearts were in the right place. Faculty and media on the left will urge that no one inside the lecture hall be penalized because shouting down awful people like me is morally appropriate. The administration has to recognize that severe sanctions will make the college less attractive to many prospective applicants.”
Lou Varricchio is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.