sealPurdue News

April 16, 2003

Students sanctioned for misuse of Purdue computer network

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University officials announced today (Wednesday, 4/16) that disciplinary rulings have been issued for 11 students accused of downloading child pornography over the university's computer network.

In hearings with the Office of the Dean of Students, charges were dismissed for three students, three were suspended, two received probated suspension and three received disciplinary probation. The deadline for students to appeal their punishments was Tuesday (4/15), said L. Tony Hawkins, dean of students.

"No criminal charges have been filed against these students, but the university's code of conduct necessitated that we review each of these allegations," Hawkins said. "Any illegal or inappropriate use of the university's computing network is something we take seriously. As a provider of campus networking and Internet connectivity, the university attempts to ensure that these resources are used in a way that is appropriate and advances the university's learning mission.

"The range of disciplinary action taken against these students reflects the fact that the elements of each of these cases varied."

On March 4 Purdue police launched an investigation of 17 students living on campus in connection with possession of child pornography obtained from the Internet via the university's computer network. Hawkins said the dean of students office did not have sufficient evidence to initiate hearings against six of the students.

Under university guidelines, the range of disciplinary action that can be imposed includes no punishment; probation; a probated suspension, under which the individual is granted conditional student status and is returned to full status if he or she violates no university policies during the probationary period; suspension for a period of time set by the university; or permanent expulsion.

Writer: Brian Zink, (765) 494-2080,

Sources: L. Tony Hawkins, (765) 494-1239,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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