Lies lead to suspension

Freshman Michael Chin accused sophomore Ian Collins of drugging him with laced marijuana from a bong on Aug. 27, resulting in Collins’ immediate suspension. At a hearing before the Center for Student Ethics and Standards (CSES) on Monday Sept. 11, Chin confessed that Collins did not provide the drugs. Collins’ room was searched after Chin smoked marijuana from a bong and became uncomfortably high, going down to the first floor of the Jeanne Mance dorms and reporting to the RD that the pot was laced. Chin was ambulanced to the hospital and Collins was suspended. “Michael Chin rescinded everything at the hearing,” Collins said. “He went back on his word and spoke on my behalf.” Collins was suspended for one semester for smoking marijuana and violating the terms of his probation. Mike Doherty, a freshman from Connecticut living on the third floor of Jeanne Mance, provided the marijuana and the bong, Chin said. Chin and Doherty were smoking when Collins came into the room. Collins accepted a hit when Chin offered him the bong.Chin told the Jeanne Mance residential staff that Collins had smoked laced marijuana with him in their room. “Chin didn’t mention Doherty at all,” the Jeanne Mance RA on duty that night, Chase Collins, said.UVM police officer Brandon Michael King keyed into the room despite Collins’ attempts to keep him out. In the room, King seized two bongs, 27 grams of marijuana stems, one marijuana grinder, and a box that contained paraphernalia.”Ian was a nice guy. Just, he was f—ed up. It was just bad luck,” Chin said.Collins was suspended for possession of the paraphernalia and marijuana. He filed a lawsuit against UVM, claiming that his rights were violated from an unwarranted search.After an out of court settlement was struck, UVM dropped the possession charges against Collins when he agreed to drop the lawsuit. Collins was still charged with smoking marijuana, which was enough to suspend him due to his past record.”I got caught smoking last year,” Collins said. “The ventilation in the room was bad and the smell of the marijuana caught the attention of the dorm staff that entered the room and wrote the students up.” Ian Collins is the first UVM student to be charged with evidence obtained under the ‘Search for Cause’ policy that allows UVM staff to enter a room without a student’s permission or a warrant, if a student’s health or safety is in question. “It’s a sight inspection,” student and academic services manager, Kim Alicia Martin-Anderson, said. “If something is in plain view then the room can be seized and a warrant can be issued and everything is fair game.” Michael Chin, a member of the ROTC, will not face punishment from the ROTC because he is not yet contracted by them, Chin said. Worried that he will lose money that has already been spent on this semester’s tuition, Collins is considering an appeal of the case. “If I lose all my money for tuition and financial aid then I will appeal. If I don’t, then I will cut my losses.” Collins left Burlington and returned home to get a job and work off the $5,000 lawyer fees that accumulated from the work done by lawyer Davis Sleigh, Collins said. Collins said he hopes to return to UVM next semester, but is unsure if he will be readmitted.