A student senator at Washington University in St. Louis was fined $500 ...
Authored By Kara Zupkus
October 20, 2021
A student senator at Washington University in St. Louis was fined $500 and put on disciplinary probation for destroying YAF’s 9/11: Never Forget Project flag display last month, after sparking nationwide outrage.
Fadel Alkilani was caught on video throwing away 2,977 American flags on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The school, which faced immediate pressure to bring down punishment on the vandal, condemned Alkilani’s actions and announced the opening of an investigation.
The initial video of the incident, released by YAF, went viral on social media, racking up millions of views and garnering outrage from Americans of all backgrounds and ideological affiliations.
Exclusive documents given first to Young America’s Foundation shows the university handing down 3 punishments to Alkilani:
–Probation and Warning Respondent is placed on probation for the remainder of his enrollment at the University. If Respondent is found in violation of the above offenses or any other Code violation during the remainder of his enrollment at Washington University, the Student Conduct Board will determine sanctions, including potential suspension or expulsion from the University community.
–Educational Remedies Respondent will be expected to meet with a university faculty or staff member and complete an essay on a topic, which will be determined by my office. The purpose of this educational sanction is to encourage meaningful reflection on his actions and their impact on other members of our community.
-Restitution Respondent is directed to pay $500 restitution for the flags that were damaged by Friday, October 29, 2021. Payment must be made in the form of a check or money order made payable to Washington University and delivered or mailed to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
According to the WashU College Republicans, Alkilani was removed from his Resident Assistant position as part of probation, but not removed from his student senate leadership position–where heads the finance committee, in charge of doling out more than $1 million in student organization funding.
School officials told the CRs that they must move forward with impeachment proceedings to have Alkilani removed.
Sheryl L. Mauricio Associate Dean for Student Conduct and Community Standards found Alkilani in violation of 5 of the student codes of conduct, including theft, interfering with the rights of other members of the University community, furnishing false information, and failure to comply with the requests of university police.
According to the Office of Student Conduct’s investigation, Alkilani faked his identity after the first encounter, claiming “he was a member of the College Republicans and that he received a new shipment to replace the flags he was removing.”
Nick Rodriguez, chairman of the WashU College Republicans, told YAF while they were encouraged by some of the university’s disciplinary decisions, it should have gone further.
“It was great to see the school take real disciplinary action, but considering the significance of Fadel’s actions I had hoped to see more,” Rodriguez said. “This case was a unique one, and understanding the lack of precedence, it would have been great to see the school clearly state they would not stand for this behavior. College Republicans plan to pursue his impeachment from the Student Union.”