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Posted on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

As University of Michigan considers revisions to trespass policy, lawmaker calls for more oversight

By Juliana Keeping

The University of Michigan’s application of its trespass policy has prompted a Michigan lawmaker to call for reforms to address the potential for lax oversight of campus police departments statewide.

Meanwhile, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said the organization is drafting a letter to U-M outlining its take on problems with the policy, which gives every campus police officer the authority to ban people for life from the public institution’s campus.

About 2,050 individuals are currently barred indefinitely from all of or a portion of campus. A Freedom of Information Act request filed by prompted the release of a list Jan. 12.

Two people interviewed by said they were confused about the circumstances surrounding their banning from university facilities. Under the policy, the campus police department is not required to notify an individual in writing why he or she has been banned.

“If due process means anything, it means that an individual must be apprised of the reason he or she is being banned, and be given an opportunity to explain why the officer is wrong,” Michael Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, said Thursday.

Concerned over the policy’s potential to chill free speech and side-step due process rights, civil rights attorneys from the ACLU first raised questions about the constitutionality of the trespass policy following an Oct. 24 report by that detailed the university's use of the policy in the banning of Andrew Shirvell.

Shirvell is a U-M alumnus and a former state assistant attorney general who blogged about student body president Chris Armstrong and what Shirvell called Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.” Shirvell also heckled Armstrong at public speaking events.

U-M’s student ACLU group sent a letter Nov. 11 to U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and Public Safety Director Ken Magee to request a review of the policy, prompting Coleman to call for a revision. No timeline for reform has been set by the president or the institution’s legal office, which is handling the revision, U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said last week.


State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.

Warren considers review of state law

In an interview this month with, State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, joined in the call for change, but she took things a step further.

While she said that she applauds any revision of the policy, she said potential abuse of the policy at U-M could give lawmakers a reason to review a state law that governs the oversight of campus police departments.

“There’s a lot of concern that there’s too much power in one department or one person’s hands with no ability for citizens to appeal,” Warren said.

In 2011, she said, she’ll work to strengthen oversight in the state law that grants universities the power to deputize their own law enforcement agencies.

Steinberg said that the ACLU would support any effort of Warren’s to increase oversight of campus police departments. Until then, the organization is keeping close tabs on the revision process of the trespass policy.

“We understand the university has a duty to protect its students, but in fashioning a trespass policy, the university must consider the free speech rights of students and residents, and craft a narrow policy that recognizes both interests,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg said he is especially concerned that a person can be banned for violating any university rule under the trespass policy.

“Those rules, as you know, are very broad,” Steinberg said. “They can include bringing a water bottle into Michigan Stadium. Smoking too close to the entrance of the building.”

In an interview with, one man who was banned said he wasn’t sure why he got a trespass warning after a heated exchange at a football game, and others didn’t.

U-M alumus Timothy Walbridge was at a home game with his parents and friends on Sept. 4, 2004, when his group got into a shouting match with a few other fans over seating.

“It escalated to the point where one of them verbally threatened me and said he was going to take me out to the parking lot,” said Walbridge, now a geriatrician who earned a biology degree from the university in 1996.

Campus police officers escorted Walbridge and his friends out of the stadium, and on the way, one of them handed Walbridge a trespass warning that barred him from campus. A medical student at Wayne State University at the time, Walbridge now lives in Carmel, Ind., with his wife and their three children.

“I have nothing but love for Michigan. It makes me feel horrible I can never purchase tickets or technically be there on their property,” he said.

Under the policy, police are not required to provide a reason in writing for the ban, Department of Public Safety spokeswpman Diane Brown said last week. Instead, a conversation with the issuing officer details the reason for ban, she said.

That conversation left one former employee confused.

Ray Berger worked for 18 years as an usher in Section 38 of Michigan Stadium and held season football tickets for 25 years. He lost his job in 2006 and U-M revoked his tickets in July 2010. Then campus police banned Berger from the Big House and Crisler Arena under the school’s trespass policy.


Raymond Berger, in yellow, left, stands with his family in Michigan Stadium, where he worked as an usher for 18 years. Campus police banned Berger from the Big House and Crisler Arena in October 2010.

Photo courtesy of Raymond Berger

He and a university spokesperson have different explanations as to what prompted his ban.

Berger, a retired factory worker from Flint, said a police officer gave him a trespass warning and told him to leave after he handed a religious handbill to a worker at Crisler Arena while buying a ticket for the Oct. 16, 2010, game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The handbill is a copy of a 1996 Flint Journal article that tells the story of how Berger found Jesus Christ after a car accident almost killed his mother.

Brown said the university embraces political discourse and freedom of expression in all areas, especially outdoors.

Asked if Berger's claim that he had been banned for handing out religious material was true, Brown said, "Typically, no, it wouldn't be because someone is distributing something. We aren't content police."

Berger said that prior to being banned from the venues, he repeatedly called the athletic department to ask about his dismissal from his usher position. He also sent Russell Stover chocolates, Christmas cards and “Hail to the Victors” ink pens to athletic department workers and a U-M attorney.

Brown said Berger’s repeated contact over the years disrupted the day-to-day operations of the athletic department. She said the university issued a trespass warning to Berger to avoid prosecution, declining to speculate on any charges.

Questions of oversight and policy

Under the Public Safety Officers Act 120 of 1990, deputized university police forces must have an oversight committee, but at U-M and elsewhere, that committee’s powers are only advisory under the state statute, said Sen. Warren.

She said she has received complaints from residents that while the oversight committee exists in name, “It’s not being as empowered as it should be under the statute.”

DPS became a deputized police force in 1990, a controversial move at the time, recalled Warren, who protested the formation of the department as a U-M undergraduate. The students’ anti-campus police slogan?

“No guns. No cops. No code,” she said. At the time, most of the debate revolved around whether there was enough crime in Ann Arbor to warrant an armed police force on campus, Warren recalled. Envisioning herself as a student on campus today, she said she might instead be asking serious questions about oversight.

The statute that gave universities the power to deputize campus police departments also requires that an elected civilian oversight committee comprised of two students, two members of the faculty and two staff members exist in order to address grievances against public safety officers. Each committee member should be nominated and elected, the law states.

Before the spring of 2010, elections for faculty hadn’t occurred for almost a decade, although the committee was still active, said Kathleen Donohoe, the director of policy for human resources at U-M, who provides support to the committee. It had addressed one to two grievances a year since 2005, she said.

The committee can recommend measures be taken by the institution against a public safety officer found responsible for misconduct in office, the law states.

Faculty elected U-M law professor Richard Friedman to the oversight committee in April 2010 after the student government and faculty governance re-instated election procedures. That change created an almost entirely new committee membership. The university also created a website for the oversight committee at that time.

Friedman serves as chairman and said so far he thinks the university is paying attention and the campus police department has been cooperative with the committee’s requests for information.

The committee is required to meet at least twice per year, but has met roughly five times since April. It has handled six grievances concerning the police department in that time, he said, including an incident involving a suspected mistaken detention and several complaints over the trespass policy. One Friedman characterized as minor has been resolved, while five grievances are pending. He said couldn’t discuss details in specific cases.

Will the police department heed the advice of the committee?

“That remains to be seen,” he said.

A look at EMU's process

At Eastern Michigan University, a nine-person civilian oversight committee has met twice to address two complaints since 2008, said EMU Department of Public Safety Chief Greg O’Dell. The trespass policy at EMU is similar to U-M’s, but individuals are banned for one year. There are currently two to three vacancies on the civilian oversight committee, EMU general counsel Gloria Hage said Thursday.

Asked to arrange for a comment from President Coleman regarding the trespass policy, university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said Coleman commented on the issue when she asked for the policy review and said there was nothing else to add.

In October 2010, U-M officials said 3,300 individuals were barred from campus. A Freedom of Information Act request from prompted U-M to release a list that showed 1,850 individuals have received about 2,500 trespass warnings since 2001.

The discrepancy between the original number of banned individuals and the number provided to following a FOIA was mostly due to an error in the way records personnel viewed the data, Brown said. Police also removed 200 juveniles and some deceased individuals from the list.

Records prior to 2001 were not available, Brown said, due to inconsistencies in how trespass warnings were tracked over the years.

Police said most individuals who receive trespass warnings are outsiders who have been charged with a crime.

William Bess, the public safety director from 1999 to 2008, authorized the written policy used by the department in 2000, Brown said, the same year DPS began to put all its policies and procedures on the books in order to begin the years-long process of accreditation, which it achieved in 2009. According to its website, U-M DPS is the first in the Big 10 to achieve accreditation under the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.

Another local lawmaker said he would pay attention to any changes Warren introduces to Public Safety Officers Act 120.

But State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, said he would reserve comment until that happens.

In his experience as a Washtenaw County commissioner, he said, oversight committees have had varying degrees of success with the county Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s a difficult thing,” Irwin said. “To make them vital and function like they’re supposed to requires constant attention. If it’s working right it’s probably generating work.”

Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

Tell you what could occur here - same thing that happened in the MDOC cases that netted a $100,000,000.00 settlement for 900+ female Michigan Department of Corrections prisoners in a class action. More and more plaintiffs came in, a class action got certified, and years and years down the road you had female inmates coming out of the proverbial woodwork to make claims that eventually began producing a few huge jury verdicts and the State of Michigan settled to cut even larger potential losses. The Borisov case and the Walbridge and Berger cases cited above are pretty egregious . I would venture that Mary Sue Coleman and General Counsel Suellyn Scharnecchia must be rightfully concerned about the possibilty of huge lawsuit exposure U-M may have to persons who may claim damages from the conduct of DPS in enforcing this trespass policy. Go for it ACLU!!


Fri, Feb 11, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

Those were very dubious cases. While there was evidence of sexual relations between guards and inmates, there was speculation on whether or not it was actually consensual as opposed to abuse situations. Two of the largest verdicts involved women convicted of second degree murder - Toni Bunton and Michelle Bazzetta - so there were credibility issues obviously. The abuse of power of a law enforcement agent against a respectable citizen is something juries often find abhorrent. That situation arguably exists herein with hundreds of persons. The Dr. Borisov and Wilkerson cases involved professionals whose careers risked damage from the action initiated against them. I have no doubt that DPS likely had substantial reason in many of the trespass notice cases to justify their conduct, however a certain percentage of these cases appear to be possible abuses of power.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Roadman, you forgot to post what the ladies in prison for. So I looked it up. It was for sexual assault by male prison guards. So are you thinking people read the trespass warning can claim the same pain and suffering as these women? I suppose that since you describe those three cases as egregious, you do think so. I don't. Please explain how police following the state trespass law can lead to a huge lawsuit exposure similar to one based on sexual assaults. Following the law and breaking the law are two very different things.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

as usual 'Roadman" cites one particular case as 'hardly being deserving' of banning from campus. Wrong! That individual is precisely the sort who needs "trespassing', given her associates ( also trespassed -- and multiply worthy of A2 cop intervention in the past) and the tactics they employed i.e blatantly trying to shout down those they disagree with in multiple venues on and off campus and at the event roady mentions ( over and over again in every thread she posts on).


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

A jury acquitted Catherine Wilkerson by unanimous vote. Several thousand signatures were presented to Prosecutor Brian Mackie prior to the trial in a petition calling for dropping the charges. Hundreds of Ann Arbor residents signed petition douments calling for dismissal of the case. The acquitting Borisov jurors actually shook his hand after being discharged. The cases against both were political and outrageous.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

If they were not within their first amendment rights then the UM could have gone to court and gotten a restraining order but they like being judge and jury.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 6:47 a.m.

Poor article. Lots of errors. For example, UMPD has always had written policies, including a trespass policy, long before Bill Bess was appointed director. Seems no one understands the issue here. The UMPD does nothing more than any other police department in Michigan, enforce the state law. Its a state law, not just a UM policy and what UM officers do is based on the state law. The state law gives any property owner or the agent of the owner the ability to ask a person to leave. If they do not leave they can be subject to arrest, but that is their personal choice-be arrested or not. Its actually a very lenient law, one of very few that give a person the opportunity to decide on their own if they get arrested. Many years ago the UMPD added to the warning that an appeal can be made if desired. There is your due process. If a person refuses to leave and does not, an arrest can be made. Or if a person on record after being "trespassed" returns, they can be arrested. But typically they are not. A warrant request is made to the prosecutor's office where the decision is made to charge or not. Even if the WCPO does not authorize a warrant that does not mean the trespass is not proper. The issue here by many is way overblown. "Police state?" Good grief. If anything the officers are overly generous. This is not an issue, it is not a problem, and Rebekah Warren should be looking at real issues confronting the state of Michigan than this, an non issue. If Rep Warren wants to introduce an amendment to alter the existing statute, she should go for it, but you never know, the law could end up being amended to give the police more authority, maybe make the penalty stiffer. Keeps the campuses safer, which is a real issue. Frankly I think she would look silly to bring this up in Lansing without decent grounds to do so.


Fri, Feb 11, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Roadman your examples do not prove anything. No evidence there is a problem. You are trying to make a huge issue out the legal enforcement of a very minor offense. These three cases are insignificant. The police did nothing in re to the employment issues, only acted to get ex employees out of a former workplace. If they have an employment issue, it has nothing to do with the police. I am so glad that this is the worst thing anyone can complain about in re to UMPD!! It is not a problem. Was Shirvell given a notice to stay off campus the night AAPD found nothing wrong? Was it just a chance to make a delivery of a document that had nothing to do with what he was doing at the time?


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

@Mick52: The appeal is not due process; due process requires a fair and impartial finder of fact. The Crampton decision of the state supreme court explicitly states that police officials may not sit as decisionmakers where violations of law are at issue. That case voided a statutory scheme where a law enforcement representative sat on the Driver License Appeal Board. If a person feels aggrieved by an appeal process he may or may not have a sympathetic U-M official to advocate for him or her. Abuses? Yes, the Borisov case and the fact there are thousands of persons banned for life from U-M where MSU the trespass list is less than sixty. Shirvell was served with a notice by standing on a public sidewalk where after A2 police already gave him a free pass. A federal judge would strike this process down in a heatbeat.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:43 p.m.

Darn I ran out of room. Trespass continued: For example Ms. Keeping uses an example of Mr. Berger who she reports is an employee, an usher at football games. I never knew football game ushers were employees, I thought they were volunteers. She notes two versions of his predicament, one was his crime of passing out a flier, the other activity that sounds like stalking per Ms Brown's description. Hmm. Which do you think might be more apt to draw a request to not return? Why would a police officer jump all over Mr. Berger for passing out a flier? Who cares how the city of Ann Arbor handles trespassing on city property? Ditto Ypsi or WCSD. The fact is the UMPD is following the state law. I won't say cause I don't know for sure but what if EMU and MSU PDs do handle it the same way? I could use that just as easily. Your final paragraph needs proof, data, and evidence. It makes no sense other than that the policy may bar trespassing affiliates but it does not need to state that because the law notes unauthorized people in an area are subject to the law. Students, staff and faculty are authorized, typically. But that does not give them total access to any area or the right to refuse an officer's order to leave an area if for example during after hours periods. It is based on one's authority to be in an area. I doubt you will be able to come up with any examples to support your last paragraph. You know the trespass statute is a good tool for the police to keep the campus safe. People on campus should report suspicious persons and behavior. The police can respond and investigate, identify suspicious persons and evaluate their reasons for being on campus. Take Shirvell for example. Mr. Armstrong was concerned for his safety. Then take the example of the attempted assassination of Rep Giffords. The shooting at the Univ of Alabama a year ago and the Va Tech incident. These are reasons to expand the ability of the police in keeping public areas/campuses safe.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Cash, there is a civilian review board. The article says so, adding its active but no new elections. I thought the elections were two year terms. But there is a review board. That said, having worked some in LE, I would say that a civilian board is a fantastic idea because civilians do not know police work very well. Your idea of a civilian review board in re to the enforcement of a criminal law is unique, creative and perhaps revolutionary, however in criminal law the review is by the prosecutor's office and the courts. Now if you have some examples of civilian review boards that review police activity in any area, please share that. And you can expand that to any area where a govt agencies actions are reviewed by a civilian review board. Trespass, I knew you would respond to my posting. Okay, in re to your point that the UMPD is the delegate for the Michigan trespass statute, that follows the state law. The state law specifically allows for "the owner or occupant, agent or servant of the owner or occupant...." In other words the owner can delegate that power. It's the law and it applies anywhere. You are incorrect in your opinion it makes them the judge. It only applies to enforcement. No judge duties. As I noted above, there is an appeal that was added on, which is a form of due process. It is police work, period. In any investigation of a crime, a police officer acts exactly the same. There is a benefit though to the trespass statute for trespassers, you get an option, leave or arrest. Now that said, you fret that the police chief is the only person someone can appeal to. I would answer that by noting that the police chief does have a boss who has a phone and an office who I am sure would be glad to take a call, complaint etc. In the absence of the current chief, I am sure there is a capable person carrying out those duties. In regard to your concerns of abuses, well pony some up. I see no abuses in this article.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

@Trespass: Ken Magee has not been "missing for 4 months" found him working his tail off selling antiques.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

The legislature intended that campus police departments would have civilian oversight. If that has not happened, then it is perfectly appropriate for Senator Warren to amend the law to restore that original intent.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

You ignore the fact that in this case the campus police have been delegated the authority of the property owner, thus making them both the judge or who should be trespassed and the enforcer. Then the only appeal is to another police officer, the chief, who has been missing for 4 months. You also ignore the abuses of that power, some of which have been described. The Ann Arbor police do not have this authority with regard to City property. Neither do the Ypsilanti police or the County Sheriff's deputies. The campus police do have a policy, which states in part that trespass warnings will not be issued to students, staff or faculty but the officers ignore that policy with impunity because the DPS Oversight Committee had been sabatoged by the University administration.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 9:45 a.m.

Why is there no civilian review board? That's the whole point. Everything you state may or may not be fact but it is not material. If a decision is made to ban a citizen from an area, there should be a civil review board for appeal. Period.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

Dr. Andrei Borisov was simply a professor who had a gripe about alleged plagiarism tha rankled the administration. He was served with a trespass notice, allegedly disregarded it, and was carted off in handcuffs by campus police. A jury acquitted him of criminal charges and he currently has Deborah Gordon representing him in a damages suit against U-M. The Catherine Wilkerson case was another case where campus police went wild; trespass notices soon were sent those allegedly heckling speaker Raymond Tanter. Dr. Wilkerson fought an attempted obstruction charge and was acquitted by a jury. Dr. Wilkerson had a civil rights case against U-M that was pending before the Michigan Supreme Court at the time of the Tanter incident. Drs. Borisov and Wilkerson are hardly the criminal predators that DPS needs trespass notices to protect students against. The stench of politics is alleged to have pervaded these 2 cases.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

@Trespass: You are absolutely correct. The Michigan Daily indicated that two separate committees upheld Dr.Borisov's claims, at least in part. Dr. Borisov shall get his day in court on the allegations against U-M. Dr. Wilkerson's civil rights lawsuit arose out of her employment at U-M Hospital. In an interesting coincidence, her criminal prosecutor in the attempted obstruction case, Margaret Connors, is the daughter-in-law of a former U-M Hospital president, Edward Connors.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

Dr. Borisov's case was about more than a gripe about alleged plagiarism. As a PhD researcher his work was used to get an MD tenure, then the MD stole his work, his collection of research samples, claimed that he never contributed anything to the NIH and Muscular Dystrophy grants, yet used his credentials to apply for more grants and even listed him as "key personnel" more than a year after he was fired. He also refused to sign effort reports that he considered fraudulent. (you can find all of this corrobarated in the reports from the Faculty Hearing Committee and the AAUP, which have been published in the Michigan Daily)


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

Why did she move from U-M to EMU in 2010? Gloria Hage, J.D. Gloria Hage joined Eastern in March 2010 . She had been a Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the Vice-President and General Counsel at U-M. She has more than 15 years experience advising supervisors and managers on the legal aspects of human resources issues, and was a frequent speaker on employment law. Gloria received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 2 a.m.

A love story? A case involving a love story?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

I was threatened with a trespass warning by a UM lawyer after a meeting that involved Gloria Hage. Thus, she cannot claim ignorance of the UM policy. In fact, I would be surprised if she did not migrate some of the UM policies and practices to EMU. Just think of how the interrogation procedures from Guantanamo Bay migrated to Iraq and morphed into Abu Ghraib.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Juliana, Can you provide a link to the list of the 2,050 individuals on U of M's "trespass list"? Thank you.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

I have the list in PDF format but I cannot post it. Hopefully, will post it.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : midnight

Does one actually exist that has been publically disclosed? I really want to know.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

So the University of Michigan is a cancer, a liability and a Police State. What a nightmare the City of Ann Arbor lives daily being saddled with such an institution in its midst. I sincerely appreciate that this forum, as always, has provided a realistic and even-handed evaluation of the facts. Most refreshing is its uncompromising objectivity and utter lack of hyperbole.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

Yeah, a lot of bombastic sequipedalianism to be sure. But is this not the People's Republic of Washtenaw?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Citizens don't have the time nor money to fight one of these dubious trespass notices so campus police can feel that they can dole these out with impunity. I know someone who is a political activist who got served with one of these notices but has ignored it. He generally goes on about his campus business unnoticed. On occaision police are called by a political opponent, but he is gone by the time he gets there. He does not have the resources to fight the notice itself. He is one of 3,300 on this list of banned persons. The initiation of the notice itself was at the behest of a political opponent.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:48 p.m.

Demistify, he does not have a case. He was read and is supposed to stay off campus. His ignoring that makes him subject to arrest, but only if he is found by the police on campus. They could ask for a warrant if a person who saw him would testify to his presence in a building. Then he would have a case. If he goes about his business without raising a ruckus he probably will not be arrested.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

With all those local lawyers whose own trespasses are hard to take, I am surprised that one of them has not volunteered to take this case for free.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

Most of the comments, both within the story and after it, tend to distort the scope and the nature of the problem: 1) The number of people affected is inflated because it is cumulative over many years. The trespass policy applies only to outsiders, not to members of the University community. Many are not (or are no longer) local residents, so they would be unlikely to be back in any case. The list is rarely (if ever) revised, so much of it is likely to be obsolete. Apparently, there is an appeal process, which needs refinement. An expiration date might help. 2) The great majority of cases are disorderly conduct of one sort or another, such as drunks, brawls, assaults, aggressive panhandling, obstruction. A very few can make any claim to involve freedom of speech in even the most egregious stretching of that term, i.e. intrusive aggressive behavior intended to force a trapped and unwilling audience to listen to odious political rants. In very few of those is the subject matter at all related to the University; rather, the campus is targeted as a convenient platform for extraneous issues.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

@Trespass: You are correct; I do not know what the reasons were for all 3,300 restricted persons. I only know anecdotally that some were put on due to political activism; I have seen news accounts of some being put on because they were found in a restricted area by campus police. Many these people have had legitimate business at U-M much like I do - conducting research at a library, attending a sporting event, witnessing a speech at a public forum. They have somehow been confronted by campus police often at the behest of others who have an axe to grind. Whatever the situation is there is no denying U-M has gone way overboard in restricting thousands of respectable Americans from U-M property for life. No federal judge would ever approve the current policy as written.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

I am sorry but you are the one who is unaware of the facts. 1) The policy does not apply only to outsiders. The list itself list a number of affiliations such as students or staff (including faculty) even though the DPS policy says that trespass warnings are not to be read to students, staff or faculty. If yours name is on the list, even if it was ten years ago, you are still guilty of trespassing if the cops say so. So the list is not obsolete unless you are dead. 2) I don't think you know why most people are on the list. If you do, please annotate the list for us.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

So if one gets loud or insulting to a campus cop, the cop can bar him or for life from the campus? And the only recourse is appealing to a police chief? Sounds fishy to me!


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

I don't understand the controversy. U-M is an educational institution in part supported by state funds, but that doesn't mean it's open to the public at large. If you have legitimate business with U-M, you can still come on the property, but must abide by it's rules. You are subject to DPS while you're on the property, but not off. Would folks feel better if U-M would jusr erect walls and fences like other businesses so it can be more easily controlled? DPS is here to protect the students, staff, anyone who does business with it and it's property. Other publically funded places restrict admission based upon behavior that threatens people and property. Libraries, military bases, even parks, have restricions.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

I am a taxpayer and use public resources at U-M such as the libraries. I also speak at public commentary at meetings. I also have spent money at sporting events at U-M. I don't want some goofy officer telling me to get off campus property.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

That is why the legislature gave them the1970 law, which the UM chooses to ignore.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

"Brown said Berger's repeated contact over the years disrupted the day-to-day operations of the athletic department. She said the university issued a trespass warning to Berger to avoid prosecution, declining to speculate on any charges." So sending chocolates and christmas cards was disrupting day-to-day operations??? OMG that's ridiculous.


Thu, Feb 10, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

Actually sending items to a person is listed as an prohibited activity in the stalking law. I agree friend12, there obviously is more to this story. Roadman there is a defined standard for the police, its the state trespass statute. They are following it and there are no abuses. None in this story anyway. It makes no sense to have anyone review how the police are enforcing the law other than the legal process. The trespass law is a good tool in keeping the campus safe. They continually have passed constitutional muster as probably 99% result in convictions, those who go to trial anyway. There will be no court test in federal court despite what the ACLU believes. Perhaps you could pony up some constitutional violations here for further debate. I sure do not see any.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

The sad state of affairs is that there are no clearly defined standards for police to follow when issuing these trespass notices. That is why I do not think they will pass constitutional muster. Mary Sue Coleman wants to revisit the policy because she will likely lose in a federal court test to the ACLU.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

I think there is more to Mr. Berger's case than either side is saying.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Things need to change. The campus police shouldn't have the freedom to ban a person without some method of appeal that they can't just ignore. I can see the ACLU or a really sharp lawyer in court suing the university for millions of dollars over this. Because of the lack of due process they probably will win even though a property owner does have the right to deny a person from being on their property without cause.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

You are absoluotely correct; its already being done to a certain extent. Deborah Gordon of Andrew Shirvell fame is already representing a Mr. Borisov who got one of these trespass notices in a dubious manner.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

One more thing. I do think the state needs to make a change. I don't think the oversight committee should have the ultimate say. The school definitely shouldn't have the direct authority to ignore or override the committee's decision. If the school or complainant disagrees with the oversight committee decision, they should be able to appeal through the courts or maybe some type of binding arbitration process.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

"We understand the university has a duty to protect its students, but...." It would be nice if the ACLU were not just fixated on the "but..." part of the sentence, and occasionally paid attention to the front part. Decent people who are on campus for legitimate reasons connected with its educational purpose have civil rights too, including the right not to be harassed by unruly and aggressive outsiders.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

Hosni Mubarak and his internal security departmet would likely agree with you.

Jim Knight

Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Three comments that could not be verified were removed.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

This is the tip of a very rotten iceberg... the University of Michigan. They follow no rules nor obey any laws. We should hope and pray for a long retinue of investigative committees and grand juries to visit Ann Arbor from both the State and Federal governments with subpoenas for members of the UM Administration and Board of Regents. The indictments will follow. If Governor Rick Snyder is going to "Reinvent Michigan" he must first remove the cancer which is not only in Wayne County but also in Washtenaw County! The University of Michigan was historically an asset not a liability as it now is.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

A little vehement, but you on the right track.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

It is ludicrous for the university to put this kind of power in the hands of a single individual without review or recourse. Did Hosni Mubarak have a hand in drafting the policy?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

No argument there. Mr. Steinberg should have a field day in testing this policy in federal court.

rusty shackelford

Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

I agree with the need for civilian oversight of the police force. However, I don't agree with the implication that the general public has an inherent "right" to be on University property. Those not affiliated with the university should only be allowed there to conduct legitimate business (this phrase can be interpreted broadly, to include attending events or exhibits that are designated as open to the public, accessing federal records at the library, passing through the U's right of way on the way to somewhere else, etc). We don't allow the general public to just roam around other state government buildings at will, for the fun of it. They have to have business to conduct there. I don't see why employees at the U should have to put up with this any more than other state employees.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

They don't, Rusty. The problem comes in when persons are lawfully where they have a right to be and engaged in protected activity and some yahoo from the DPS gets in their face and issues one of these trespass notices. Andrew Shirvell was on a public sidewalk after the A2 Police Dept. already determined he was acting within his rights when the DPS issued a trespass notice and barred him for life from the premises of his beloved alma mater.They only backed down when a high-powered lawyer started objecting. A federal judge will never approve abuses that were exemplified in the Shirvell drama.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

The 1970 law was a compromise to recognize the public and private nature of university property. <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;objectName=mcl-Act-26-of-1970&amp;highlight=752.581</a> It allows for the removal of persons from university property if they are violating any properly promulgated rules of the university. That means that if the university does not want the public in areas such as offices or facilities, they can just post the area as for &quot;authorized personnel only&quot;. However, the person can return to university property whenever they are no longer violating the rules.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

If there is no civilian oversight of a police department action, you live in a police state. UM= Police State


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Mary Sue Coleman may disagree with you. The Board of Regents powers were simply delegated to the director of public safety.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Certain stalkers and obnoxious and narcissistic event disrupters and hate speech promulgators ( even via nicely lettered signs, and especially when they are not members of the university community!!) should remain 'trespassed' when they have so repeatedly attempted to violate the free exchange of informed, civil and responsible expression on campus ( and elsewhere).


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Yes, and we rely on a police official to determine what are the scope of one's rights to be on U-M property? The Michigan Supreme Court has already said police may not sit as decisionakers where violations of law are alleged.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

So if you are mad at one protester or one group of protesters, does that mean that more than 2,000 local citizens should be trespassed with no due process and no appeal, except to the police chief?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Strangely missing here is any interview or response from the Director of UM Public Safety $182K per year Kenneth Magee. Is he still on paid medical leave? Is he still working at the store downtown? Wasn't he on leave on 11/11 when the letter was sent to him? Why does a department of that size have a paid &quot;spokeswoman'&quot;? If the chief has been off for the past 4 months, who is she speaking FOR? Not him, I'd assume. I do appreciate the interview with the EMU chief. At least someone is on the job.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

If you want to buy an antique, you need to see Mr. Magee.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

What about a comment from William Bess, who still has a job at the U-M for the same pay he was getting as DPS director? What does he do now? Bess was responsible for formalizing the U-M's current trespass policy in 2000, which must have been in concert with the General Counsel back then. It's hardly possible that they did not know the policy was a violation of due process rights. Who authorized them to create that policy? The Regents? The administration? Or just part of long established tradition? According to the first sentence in the book: The Trials of Academe, the U-M has led the nation's universities in the use of extrajudicial police powers since 1970. Apparently, the U-M was not particularly afraid of anti-war demonstrations, but the BAM strike provided the motivation to improve their arsenal, hence the authority to issue self-executing trespass warnings. But even that was not enough, the U-M wantonly circumvents the 1970 law that it lobbied for in favor of using the 1931 common law. They are shameless? Not quite what we have come to expect from an elite liberal institution.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

Good questions, Cash! I, too, wondered if there would be a follow up story on Magee.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

Maybe someone can offer an official explanation of who owns the the University of Michigan as a physical asset, the employed individuals in administration, the elected/paid regents, or the people of the State of Michigan that pay their salaries and for the upkeep of the property?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Check the Register of Deeds.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

The University General Counsel says that the UM is not public property and that the rights of ownership rest with the Board of Regents. Thus, they have the right to trespass anyone they chose for any reason under the 1931 trespassing statute. They ignore a 1970 statute that the UM asked for, after the BAM strike, that applies specifically to &quot;institutions of higher learning&quot;.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Yes, I think the state legislature should revisit this law and strengthen the civilian oversight provisions. Without civilian oversight campus police departments become private enforcers for the University administration and fail to protect the rights of all citizens. Look at how the Ann Arbor police would not arrest Andrew Shirvell for picketting on the sidewalk in front of MSA Prsident Chris Armstrongs fraternity but the campus police issued a trespass warning without any judicial or civilian review.


Fri, Feb 11, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

The campus police were walking a fine line until they apparently took orders from an administrator after Armstrong's ex parte PPO against Shirvell was denied by a judge. Why on earth did U-M administrators believe they could side-step the court? It's very disturbing that U-M administrators think they can substitute their judgment for the independent discretion of police officers.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Andrew Shirvell's conduct was protected Free Speech and the A2 Police knew it. The campus police officers' conduct created this entire controversy.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : noon

The WMU General Counsel, when challenged that they were not following state law, said that the Committee was established by the passage of the resolution by the Board and that it did not matter that no members had been elected or that they had never met. Now the Committee has been &quot;appointed&quot; not elected but the General Counsel has made rules that say the Committee can &quot;hear&quot; a grievance but they cannot investigate unless they get the permission of the Vice President for Finance. They are worried that the Committee would violate their collective bargaining agreement with their police officers.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

Sounds like red tape - to an almost Kafaesque extent. I am sure Joseph Heller could have made a sequel to Catch-22 based od on that gobbledygook.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Western Michigan University deputized its police force in 2004 and the Board of Regents passed a resolution to establish the DPS Oversight Committee. However, the University Administration ignored the resolution and never conducted any elections to put anyone on the committee until they received a complaint about their failure to follow the procedures in 2010. The Police Chief tried to lie and say they had a committee but when he was pressed to name the members of the committee he finally said that they only elected the committee if they had a grievance and they have never had a grievance against a police officer.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

Real smart answer. You only seat a committee if you have a grievance. Betcha 99.9% of all EMU faculty, staff dnd students never were aware of the grievance process. Where is it published?


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

&quot;review a state law that governs the oversight of campus police departments. &quot; Long, long overdue.


Wed, Feb 9, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

You can thank Andrew Shirvell for all this long overdue review. Maybe he can be lead plaintiff in the ACLU suit that is being researched.