Graduate student recounts his perspective on getting kicked out of WSU

Andrew Smith, Staff Writer
March 7, 2013
Filed under News, Top Stories

“I feel like no one respects the system…like everyone has a power and can do what he wants,” Jaber said.

Over four months have passed since former WSU graduate student Mohammed Jaber was escorted off campus because of claims by an unnamed student to campus police that Jaber allegedly used computers at Raj Soin College of Business to view a website for automatic weapons.

Jaber said he does not possess any weapons, including the kind he was allegedly looking at.

“No, I don’t own any weapons,” Jaber said. “I have muscular dystrophy.”

Jaber said the condition began when he was 20 years old.

“I can’t lift anything heavy; I’m not allowed to.”

After being removed from campus, Jaber filed a lawsuit against WSU claiming that Raj Soin College staff labeled him as a ‘terrorist,’ and he was the victim of racial discrimination and unfair treatment during his bid to be readmitted to the graduate program. Jaber said he plagiarized an assignment during his final class, but completed the necessary steps for readmission, including completing an academic integrity course.

It was Professor and Chair Information Systems and Operations Management of Raj Soin College of Business, Dwight Smith-Daniel, whom Jaber says did not specifically label him as a ‘terrorist’, but made the police report about Jaber.

Smith-Daniel declined to comment on Feb. 28.

Following his dismissal, Jaber said he fell into a destructive depression.

“I’ve really been going through a very hard time,” Jaber said. “It’s a really bad experience for me, the worst experience for me. That really affected my life, even my wife left me to [live in] Indiana. I still talk to her, but she knows I’ve been depressed and [I’m] having a very, very hard life.”

Jaber said he and his wife are “not divorced, just on a break.”

Now Jaber will have to wait until late March 2014 until a decision is rendered in the Court of Claims of Ohio in Columbus.

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The only information the WSU Police Dept. could release regarding the Sept. 20 incident was a one sentence report that says “on Thursday, September 20, 2012,” Reporting Officer Chad Oleyar was “dispatched to Rike Hall (room 119) to meet with an Assistant Dean in reference to some concerns his office had about a former graduate student” (Jaber).

WSU Police Records and Business Coordinator Carly Porter said in an email response that the incident report for Sept. 20 is the only document she could publicly release, citing the investigative process clause of the Ohio Public Records law.

Below is the sequence of events beginning with Jaber’s removal from campus and leading up to his scheduled trial date for next year, according to public records from the Court of Claims Ohio website:

-On Sept. 24, 2012, Mohammed Jaber was removed from campus by WSU Police.

-On Jan. 22, 2013, Jaber’s attorney, Thomas Liptock, filed a complaint against WSU. The complaint refuted the claim that Jaber used a computer to view a website “that dealt with automatic weapons” and said that “such a statement was defamatory against [Jaber] and led to his being trespassed off school property.”

The complaint also said that Jaber was “the victim of racial discrimination,” and says “the staff at Raj Soin School of Business state Plaintiff was a terrorist.” The complaint continued under the fourth cause of action, “The only reason the Defendant’s staff made such a statement is because the Plaintiff is of Arabic descent.”

-On Jan. 23, 2013, a summons was issued to Wright State University. WSU had 28 days from this date to respond to the summons.

-On Jan. 29, 2013, Judge Patrick McGrath appointed Anderson Renick magistrate in the case of Mohammed Jaber V. Wright State University.

-On Feb. 19, 2013, Assistant Attorneys General and attorneys for Wright State University Eric Walker and Kelly McCloud answered the complaint. In the answer, the defendant (WSU) denied the allegations that the statement that Jaber viewed a website on campus for automatic weapons was “defamatory” and “led to his being trespassed off school property,” and also denied the allegation that Jaber was “the victim of racial discrimination.”

The answer also denied the allegations in paragraph 13 of Plaintiff’s complaint that states Raj Soin College of Business staff labeled Jaber as a ‘terrorist’.

-On Feb. 25, 2013, a Notice of Scheduling was released on the Court of Claims of Ohio website. A case management conference was set for March 28, a pretrial conference scheduled for Feb. 27, 2014 and the trial was set for March 31 through April 2, 2014 at the Court of Claims of Ohio in Columbus.

Liptock said he and Jaber will meet at the Attorney General’s office to see if both parties can “reach a dollar amount that everybody is happy with.”  The amount Liptock is seeking for his client is listed as “in excess of $25,000,” Liptock said.

Liptock is confident that the law is on his client’s side, and that Jaber has been the victim of discrimination.

“I think he has truly been discriminated against because of his ethnicity,” Liptock said. “If he had been a white guy, I don’t think this would have happened. They wouldn’t have called him a ‘terrorist’ if he wasn’t of Arabic descent.”

If Jaber were to be accepted back to the Raj Soin graduate program, he says he would return, but only for one purpose.

“Yeah, I would go back, but just to finish my schooling,” Jaber said. “I only have one class [left], and I have spent tons of money on this program. I’m not against Wright State; I really love this school. I’m against people like Smith-Daniel.”

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