A case against four students who protested the treatment of employers subcontracted by Emory’s food vendor was placed on the dead docket this month.
A DeKalb County State Court judge moved the case June 4, according to the Emory Wheel.
The four Emory students were among the seven arrested in April 2011 after days of protesting on the Emory quad.
The group — Students and Workers in Solidarity (SWS) — camped out for several days to protest the alleged mistreatment of workers subcontracted by Sodexo, Emory’s food vendor.
University officials said the protesters were arrested for violating school policy that “prohibits the unauthorized use of the Quadrangle for such purposes.”
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In a letter from SWS available on the organization's website, SWS called the judge's decision "a moment of great relief, filled with gratitude for the many family members, friends, professors and workers who have supported us throughout the last year as we dealt with the stress of facing criminal prosecution for nonviolent dissent on our own university campus."
According to Emiko Soltis, a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate at the Laney Graduate School and one of the arrested students, Emory had the influence to drop the charges, but Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stephen Sencer said that the only prosecutor — the DeKalb County Solicitor — could dismiss the criminal accusations.
In a previous email to the Wheel, Sencer explained that the administration would work with the arrested individuals to seek dismissal of the former charges by asking the students to commit to Emory's policies, including their facilities-use policies, in addition to agreeing not to bring a lawsuit against the University in connection with the events.