Senior Bobby Cassens, who was given an administrative ticket for smoking too close to a building (the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) house) on Oct. 15, has been placed on mandatory academic leave.
“I’m not expelled from the school,” Cassens said. “I’m on mandatory academic leave.”
Cassens said that he spoke to President Roger Taylor shortly after the fire at TKE on Oct. 15., which did some minor damage to the wall on the third floor of TKE, mostly on the exterior wall.
“He didn’t give me a reason why he banned me,” Cassens said, referring to being put on mandatory academic leave. “He said, ‘You started the fire at TKE. You are a f—-up. I want you banned immediately.’”
When asked about his remarks to Cassens, Taylor said, “I just don’t talk about individual student cases. That’s consistent with the practice of the college.”
Cassens said that while he admittedly had been smoking at TKE earlier that day, he left the house and later came back to a smell of smoke.
“I have full rights to be on this campus,” Cassens said.
The Knox College website reads, “Normally students will be placed on mandatory academic leave after a term has ended, but if a student fails to attend class or submit work for three continuous weeks the Academic Standing Committee may place a student on mandatory academic leave in the course of a term and award the student grades of W for the term. If the Academic Standing Committee places a student on mandatory academic leave in the course of a term, the Associate Dean of the College shall determine the student’s withdrawal date.”
Students do not need to petition to come back to Knox after their leave is over, but they must hold three credits and keep up a grade point average of at least 2.0 upon their return.