More than 20 students had received email notifications from Stephen Bryan, associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Conduct, notifying them that his office had opened an inquiry into their conduct. Duke policy prohibits “disruptive picketing, protesting or demonstration.”
“We are celebrating this win and are excited to hear that the administration chose the correct action,” the students, who call their organization the People’s State of the University, said in a statement on Saturday. "We look forward to working with the administration [toward] fulfilling our vision of a better Duke."
Student conduct is closing the investigation into the students through an informal resolution, explained the students' statement. The informal resolution, a written admonition, is not considered disciplinary action and will not become a part of their disciplinary record.
Nearly 60 faculty members signed a letter to administrators supporting the students Thursday evening.
Earlier this week, the students had called it “ironic” that the University would launch investigations given the history of protest at Duke.
“This is a great literary irony that the University is punishing us the same way they punished the students 50 years ago during the exact same time in which we are celebrating their activism,” said senior Bryce Cracknell, who has been involved with the protest movement. “It's almost hilarious.”
This is not the first time the University has dropped student conduct investigations against protesters. In response to the Allen Building sit-in in Spring 2016, Duke launched a review of the nine students who occupied the building for violations to the amnesty agreement negotiated with administrators earlier. After meetings between the students and Bryan’s office, the inquiry ended.
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Adam Beyer is a senior public policy major and is The Chronicle's Digital Strategy Team director.