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ACLU members plan to discuss course of action

May 23, 2001

In the wake of the information the Lansing-area chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union received in response to a Freedom of Information Act request to the university, members are now examining the packet and considering their options.

No definite action will be taken until a meeting can be held.

“The feeling is that they ignored the request,” said Henry Silverman, president of the chapter and an MSU professor. “I haven’t talked to anyone who was happy with what we got.”

The group plans to meet June 7, although Silverman hopes an earlier meeting can be organized.

More than a year ago, an undercover MSU police officer posed as a student to join United Students Against Sweatshops, now Students for Economic Justice, to gather information about the organization after university officials became concerned regarding violent protests in Seattle, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Washington, D.C.

The ACLU hoped to receive information regarding university policies about the infiltration of any student group and any possible orders to destroy such records.

“If the things we requested aren’t in it, we’ll have to file another one,” said Michael Krueger, an SEJ member and history senior. “The requests have to be pretty specific.”

The information received included public statements by MSU officials following the infiltration and an explanation from the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.

Following news of the infiltration, MSU set up a panel to examine the incident and any possible actions that should be taken. The panel hopes to issue a recommendation by fall.


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