Administrators at a California community college removed the elected student body president from office earlier this year over charges that students and faculty claim were concocted in an effort to silence his criticisms of college fiscal policy.
Officials at Moorpark College say that campus cops caught 33-year-old Jon Foote drunk on campus on one occasion and “inciting [his] fellow students into becoming a mob.” A professor who was doing calculus with Foote immediately prior to the first incident says he was not inebriated, and students present at the second say he was assisting them in dealing with over-aggressive canvassers.
In reality, his supporters argue, administrators were gunning for Foote because of the light he shone on excessive campus spending at a time when classes and professors were getting the axe. The administration’s unilateral decision to remove him from office in the middle of his term was preposterous, they say.
Another incident that took place around the same time seems to lend credence to their story. Accused of plagiarizing the homework of a study partner, Foote was barred from a physics class he was taking. When he refused to stop attending, administrators sent campus police to remove him from the classroom.
The kicker? The plagiarism charges were later dropped.
Foote remains on campus, progressing toward his degree. He’s concerned that the disciplinary charges could hurt his chances of transfer to a four-year school, but he has no plans to drop out in the meantime.
And he’s thinking about running for student government president again next year.