A student at UMass Amherst is making a federal case out of the way the school promptly expelled him as part of a new crackdown on rioting after sporting events.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Cullen Roe charges the expulsion violates his 14th Amendment right to due process because officials ordered him out without even the disciplinary hearing he says is required by the school conduct code.
Cullen Roe was one of more than a dozen students arrested during a melee after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, on a campus where such rioting has become a rite after major Boston sporting events.
In his complaint, Roe denied being one of the troublemakers. One plainclothes campus cop, however, claimed that as police moved in to quell the disturbance, Roe yelled "Fuck the police!" and "Bring it on!"
Roe says he was ordered to a dean's office the next morning, given a letter expelling him as "an interim restriction," and told to vacate his dorm room by 6 p.m.
Roe says the expulsion also represents a breach of contract - the university is failing to provide him the education he has already paid it for - and a violation of a state law that requires seven days' notice before expulsion from a dormitory.
In addition to being reinstated as a student, Roe is seeking unspecified "compensatory damages" and legal fees.
The suit says Roe is a resident of Plymouth County.