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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

UJ t-shirt case dismissed

Published: August 31, 2007
Section: News

At the end of the Spring 07 semester, the Union Judiciary dismissed a petition filed against Jacob Bockelmann 09 and, a student-led screen printing initiative, led by Bockelmann, that has printed shirts for various Brandeis clubs. The complaint cited a conflict of interest due to Bockelmanns previous position as a member of the Finance Board, and that undue pressure was being placed on clubs to use Bockelmanns service.

Thankfully, the UJ has protections against this sort of abuse of process, so of course the claim was dismissed, Bockelmann said. The UJ extended [the plaintiff] the opportunity to resubmit his claim, with real evidence and a request for relief, but he did not. Nor could he have, because this was never a story about business ethics or the working of campus markets.

James Ansorge '09, Chief Justice of the UJ said that ” “The Union Judiciary voted unanimously to dismiss the claim against Jacob Bockelmann. Whether or not there was merit to this claim, the claimant was unable to either provide evidence, or specify a form of relief sought. The claimant did not substantiate his allegations, or provide us with the necessary information to launch a trial.”

Bockelmann said the petition arose due to campus politics and an individual or a group of people who dislike me enough to take a personal issue and turn it into a frivolous lawsuit with the aim of hurting me publicly. That, I believe is the only motivation for someone to have filed the complaint against me, he said.

The plaintiff in the case alleged that, due to Bockelmanns previous association with the Finance Board, clubs were pressured to purchase their items solely from his service.

Choon Woo Ha 08, Student Union Treasurer and Finance Board member, explained that the Finance Board has no affiliation with outside companies.

The F-Board does not really have an official relationship with any companies, he said. We just inform students of available services offered by some companies that have been working with Brandeis for a long time. We recommend them because we know they offer good prices and are reliable., which was established in February, 2007, has printed shirts for campus groups such as Brandeis Ensemble Theater and Student Sexuality Information Services. Bockelmann is an independent contractor for Tom Bernando Embroidery and Screen Printing, which has been working with campus groups, including the Student Union and Student Events, since 2003.

Bockelmann said that it is still too early to discern whether or not business will be hurt by the allegations raised against his company.

It is too soon to tell how [the plaintiffs] complaint and The Hoot article have affected my business on campus since the article was published at the conclusion of last semester and the next has yet to begin, he said.

However, he added that off-campus business has been strong this summer.