ISU student expelled after complaints, gun inquiries


May 8, 2007, 11:57 PM
ISU student expelled after complaints, gun inquiries

By Michele Steinbacher

NORMAL - Illinois State University has expelled a student who asked a professor about his rights to buy a gun on the heels of that student's previous complaints about ISU staff, and just three days after mass shootings at Virginia Tech.

But the ISU administration says the decision to expel Rithichai "Toro" Yibcharoenporn, 31, a graduate student from Thailand, wasn't connected to the Virginia incident.

Rather, his expulsion stemmed from a string of formal complaints dating back six months and his failure to make academic progress, said Jay Groves, ISU spokesman.

"The timing is coincidental, because he had this record of trouble before that, and he wasn't doing anything to answer to those student code of conduct problems," Groves said. "Even if the Virginia Tech incident had not happened, his problems were enough to generate his removal."

But action against the international student arrived swiftly after the gun comment.

Police say ISU staff was leery of Yibcharoenporn's April 19 inquiries about his constitutional rights to buy a gun because the comments were made during a required writing exam and because of his previous claims of having been treated unfairly at ISU.

Four days later, the ISU administration changed the student's status to "involuntary withdrawal" - an immediate dismissal without disciplinary panel review.

And within hours of that April 23 status change, ISU police assisted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in taking Yibcharoenporn into custody at the campus' Bone Student Center.

ISU Police also issued the student an order that forbids him from returning to the Normal campus.

Immigration officials were unavailable for comment Tuesday. Groves said he believes the student will be returned to Thailand later this month.

A doctoral student in ISU's English program, Yibcharoenporn had a history of confrontations with ISU faculty and staff. Reports with the ISU Police Department were filed in October, November, January, March and April.

The reports focus on Yibcharoenporn's arguments over exam questions, grades, his student insurance policy, student employment in the campus dining services and his later dismissal from that job.

No criminal charges were filed, said Capt. Don Knapp of the ISU Police Department.

Knapp said his agency took the initial reports and then submitted those to the ISU Dean of Students office, which handles disciplinary procedures. Once the university decided to expel Yibcharoenporn, and his student visa no longer was valid, ISU Police re-entered the picture to assist ICE, he said.

Under ISU's disciplinary process, violations of the student code result in a university investigation and panel review, as well as any needed disciplinary action.

Yibcharoenporn had attended ISU in either full-time or part-time capacity for at least four years

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May 9, 2007, 12:33 AM
This is the school I am currently attending. I have not heard anything about this. I will see if there is anything in the school paper about it.

May 9, 2007, 01:08 AM
Hah! Small world. I am currently attending ISU as well, and have not heard a peep about this.

May 9, 2007, 01:11 AM
Samuraigg: I am going to PM you.

May 9, 2007, 10:30 AM
It's in the local Central Illinois newpaper today.

May 9, 2007, 10:37 AM
and you dont have a target or gun issues or marksmanship or defense club, or activist activities committee:evil: :D

Shame on you! Get together, plan your mission, turn anti's, recruit fence sitters, and hang out with buddies. . . .

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