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University Investigating Students Over Phony Campaign to Arm Homeless

December 9, 1993

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Ohio State University will investigate whether three graduate students should be disciplined for creating a phony campaign to give guns to the homeless.

The punishments could range from a letter of reprimand to dismissal from the university, Lenora Barnes-Wright, director of the office of Community Development and Judicial Affairs, said Wednesday.

She said Paul Badger, Douglas Lloyd and Eric Zimmerman would be notified of the investigation by mail. They have seven days to respond.

The three art department students established a phone number and mailing address for a fictitious group called Arm the Homeless Coalition. They printed brochures and signs about a campaign to raise money to provide guns and firearm training to homeless people.

Last week they issued a news release that said the effort was designed to give the homeless self-confidence. The story was carried by local news media.

However, the students admitted Monday that the group and the campaign were false. They said in a notarized statement that they were trying ″to draw attention to the issues of guns and violence, homelessness and media manipulation in our society.″

Homeless advocates homeless said the fake campaign hindered legitimate efforts to help people in need.

Lloyd and Zimmerman said they had not been notified of the investigation. Messages left for Badger at his home and the art department were not returned.

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