Local News

UNC student, six others arrested after campus protests

Posted April 23, 2009

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the names Thursday of six people arrested during a speech by former Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode on campus.

Campus police also arrested a UNC student, Helen Elizabeth Koch, on charges of disorderly conduct during a protest by speech by former Congressman Tom Tancredo a week earlier.

Goode, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, spoke to about 150 people at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union Wednesday night.

Police arrested six people on charges of disorderly conduct and removed them from the venue. None of those arrested was a current student or employee of the university.

They were:

  • Meredith Ann Dickey, 18, of 824 Chamberlain Road in Raleigh
  • Michael Bandes, 25, of 1714 Jo Mac Road in Orange County
  • Rachel Love Harris, 22, of 1714 Jo Mac Road in Orange County
  • Sarah Monica Johnson, 25, of 822 Chamberlain St. in Raleigh
  • Jack Wilson Groves, 18, of 822 Chamberlain St. in Raleigh
  • Donald George Yeo, 30, of 206 Prince St. in Carrboro

Wednesday’s protest was on a smaller scale than a similar one a week ago when Tancredo addressed the same subject. Police had to halt his speech after demonstrators broke a window.

Students who said they helped organize the protests said Koch is a Morehead Scholar and an honors student. She was released from the UNC police station under a $1,000 bond, they said.

The protest organizers issued a statement decrying Koch's arrest and condemning what they called police intimidation and harassment.


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  • djcgriffin Apr 27, 2009

    As an alum I can tell you that almost every educational event/forum that is sponsored will be open to the public. In addition, there are few venues on campus that REQUIRE campus security to be present during the forum. That's university policy. Most of the time, the only protests I saw was the shouting matches between the newest Pit preachers and passer-bys. lol.

    I know it's a sensitive subject nowadays, but it makes me sad that the university is punished because (again) of the actions of a few non-students.

    And to the poster that said that the ones arrested must have knew students, not necessarily. They could have just read it on WRAL or saw it on the news. I currently have no ties to the university, but I knew about the most recent event by reading it on WRAL. hmph.

  • ncguy Apr 24, 2009

    So these kids are for a criminal act of being here undocumented.

    So is our governement, at least these kids come right out and say it- I respect that.

    I don't agree but they are up front about it, unlike our liberal feds!

  • Tax Man Apr 24, 2009

    Although Ms Koch has a right to her opinions and free speech, she has NO right to disrupt someone else' program - she violated the law and needs to be punished appropriately. Perhaps a year off college, doing community service with ICE removing illegal, criminal aliens would suffice. In any event, she did wrong and all of the other protesters of each presentation did wrong. State you views, but allow others to present theirs. The great majority of Americans want this illegal alien problem solved. The best way is to remove the incentive to come to/stay in the US - punish those who hire illegals and punish those who help them stay here illegally. The illegals are just trying to make a living but they need to do it legally.

  • mpheels Apr 23, 2009

    UNC isn't a land grant school, but it is a public institution. I can think of only a few events on campus that aren't open to the public, they are generally those paid for exclusively with student fees and with very high demand for tickets. For everything else from sports to theater to lectures the public is welcome to attend. As far as I know that's standard practice at most universities, especially public ones. The mission of UNC is to educate the people of NC - that means everyone, not just the ~28K enrolled at UNC at any given time. If programs like this weren't open to the public we would have people on here complaining that UNC was using their tax money and not letting them use the services.

  • elcid89 Apr 23, 2009

    "in fact, UNC-Chapel Hill has the special status of being a Land Grant University."

    UNC-Chapel Hill is NOT a land grant university, sorry. NC has only two of them, NC State and NC A&T.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Apr 23, 2009

    A couple of things that seem to apply to this situation.... since it was mentioned that most Universities are Liberal leaning.

    Most young people are Liberal Democrats. But when they grow up, and IF they mature, they become Conservative Republicans.

    And as my Dad always said, "I would rather hire a man with good common sense, that I can teach, than a college graduate."

  • -info- Apr 23, 2009

    dont need their school affiliation, now their home address is published...

  • MSN93 Apr 23, 2009

    "As for these kids.....their parents must be so darn proud."

    Yes, wouldn't we all LOVE to know where they go to school?

  • MSN93 Apr 23, 2009

    "Once again.....I will NEVER hire a UNC graduate for ANY position. I can assume the beliefs from someone coming out of that university and mine will not be compatible!"

    So you assume to know the beliefs of each and every one of the over 20,000 students, who are at UNC, by the way, because they are among the best and the brightest and the highest achieving students in this state and beyond.

  • MSN93 Apr 23, 2009

    "I'd bet they have connections to university students."

    And how would you know that?