ASU students call off sleep-in protest - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

ASU students call off sleep-in protest


Student leaders called off a planned sleep-in outside the room where the Alabama State University Board of Trustees will meet Friday morning.

Campus police advised the students that remaining inside the Dunn-Oliver Acadome overnight could be grounds for arrest for criminal trespassing.  Students thought they had obtained the necessary permission, but police said they needed more signatures.  Students decided to call off the sleep-in, and decided against camping outside the building because of the cold.

"I mean it's sort of disappointing, but at the same time I know that there's a compliance and a way you should conduct yourself with law enforcement officials," said Darnell Steele, an ASU Junior.

Earlier in the day, the university released the emails in which Silver attempted to fire Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer John Knight and Vice-President of University Relations Danielle Kennedy.  Silver listed the reasons as "for cause" and "for insubordination."

The emails were supposedly sent minutes before the executive committee of the Board of Trustees moved to place Silver on paid leave.  In a phone interview with WSFA 12 News, University General Counsel Kenneth Thomas said Silver didn't follow university procedures.

"He states some specific grounds there," Thomas said.  "There is nothing in these employees' personnel files where there has been anything documented as it relates to those allegations he puts in those emails."

Student leaders have met with both Silver and Knight over the past few days.  They said they heard some conflicting accounts, but many students are firm in their support of Silver.

"We hope that the Board of Trustees has heard our concerns via Facebook, via email, via Twitter and also in writing, that all we want is transparency," Shelton Johnson, a spokesperson for the student committee.

Students said they planned to return to the Acadome early on Friday morning to be in place for the meeting.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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