Student’s facebook appeal postponed

Keith Pridgen won’t be able to update his facebook status with the results of his appeal until at least mid-June.

The University of Calgary student was charged with non-academic misconduct after posting comments on Facebook about a professor over two years ago. His subsequent appeal was pushed back again last week, following new arguments from Pridgen’s legal council.

“Our court hearing was adjourned the day before,” said Pridgen, who’s hearing was originally scheduled for May 11. “The week prior to the adjournment we raised two new arguments and the university felt they needed to do further consultation before they could actually go to the hearing. It’s been adjourned until June 11.”

Pridgen explained in general terms that the new points included a charter argument and a division of power argument, but wasn’t able to elaborate further.

“I can only really talk about the general names, I’m not a lawyer,” said Pridgen. “I’m not supposed to go into all the details of it yet.”

In the Fall semester of 2007, Pridgen and a group of other students created a Facebook group entitled “I no longer fear Hell, I took a course with [instructor’s name]” in response to their law and society 201 professor’s teaching ability. Pridgen was charged with non-academic misconduct by the school, initially sentenced to 24-month probation and required to write an apology. This was later reduced to four-month probation with the apology removed entirely by General Faculties Council.

A confident Pridgen noted that he couldn’t wait for the hearing to finally happen. From his first class at the U of C in 2007, Pridgen has spent almost his entire academic career at the university dealing with this issue.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Pridgen. “A never ending process of hitting my head against the wall trying to get the university to change their policies so they can stop screwing students like they tried to screw me.”

Pridgen said he plans to return to the U of C in the fall, no matter the outcome.

“My probationary period is done, I finished that a long time ago,” Pridgen said. “We’re just simply appealing the process. They can’t give me more punishment or something like that.”

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