According to Erin Marlowe, advisor to the Broadside, Gordon Price said that the office of student life must investigate all complaints filed by students.
Iler was upset about the hearing progressing as far as it did.
“This shows a complete lack of regard toward the first amendment and freedom of the press. That’s what worries me the most.” Iler said before meeting with William Buchanan, Iler’s lawyer.
“We know what [Iler] has been accused of, but we don’t know the facts that resulted in defamation,” Buchanan said after Iler learned that the public, or even his lawyer could not attend the informal hearing. Iler’s lawyer, however, could attend a formal hearing as an advisor, according to COCC’s Rights and Responsibilities. The Rights and Responsibilities also state that the outcome of the disciplinary decision could have been anything from dismissing the charges, suspension, or ordering a formal hearing, of which the outcome cannot be appealed.
When asked what she hoped Wheeler’s decision would be, Erin Marlowe said, “My hope is the college will make the right decision here and will come out strongly in favor of free speech for student journalists.”
“It’s a first amendment issue and Oregon state law says they can’t dictate what we put in [The Broadside],” Iler said after the half hour long hearing.
Paul Wheeler had two business days to decide what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken.
However, a few hours after the hearing, Iler was informed that he had been acquitted of all charges.
Iler was told that no further sanctions would be pursued against him.
“I am happy that the First Amendment prevailed and that I no longer have to lose any more sleep over this incident.” Iler said after finding out the result.