Balloon pop leads to investigation of student for misconduct

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A criminal trespass warning keeps engineering sophomore off campus.

By Maria Gardner

An engineering sophomore was issued a criminal trespass warning by college officials May 1 after an incident April 27 in the mall east of Loftin Student Center.

The student, Moncef Gridda, is under investigation by college officials for three types of non-academic misconduct: assault, engaging in disruptive or threatening behavior other than in a classroom and civil rights harassment, according to documents provided by Gridda.

This sanction bans Gridda from being on Alamo Colleges property but does not suspend him from arranging assignments and projects via email with professors to finish the semester, Gridda wrote in an email after several in-person interviews.

Psychology sophomore Kayla Salwey, Student Government Association president candidate, accused Gridda of striking her hand as she attempted to calm him after he expressed anger about a balloon popping during a campaign event April 27.

Salwey told The Ranger May 1 she and several supporters were involved in setting up a campaign table when the incident occurred.


Three other candidates for SGA office also were staffing tables in the area.

Supporters of Salwey’s candidacy were blowing up balloons to decorate and draw students’ attention to her table.

Salwey, an Air Force veteran, said Gridda was screaming and using profanity because he said the sound of a balloon popping was disturbing.

Gridda said he was upset because of his post-traumatic stress disorder and feared the sound would be upsetting for veterans who may suffer from PTSD.

Campus police were called, and Gridda was escorted to the police station.

Salwey said police told the students gathered that Gridda would not be allowed back on campus, but Gridda said police released him and did not restrict his access to campus.

He came to Loftin Student Center at around 3 p.m. that day to receive fliers supporting Christopher Scoggins for vice president and David Vela for president.

Gridda also came to boxing practice in Loftin at about 6 p.m.

Both times he appeared on campus again, the police were called and escorted Gridda out of Loftin.

On May 1, Gridda initiated an appointment with Dr. Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success, because he believed his rights as a student were being violated, Gridda said May 3.

That meeting resulted in the criminal trespass warning, he said.

Gridda met with student conduct officer Manuel Flores May 2, but the outcome of the allegations of non-academic misconduct has not been determined.


1 Comment

  1. Moncef Gridda on

    1) I didn’t have a singular in-person interview with anyone from the Ranger about this incident, the article states “several in-person interviews.” All interviews were over the phone or via email correspondence.
    2) No sanction was given banning me from campus, instead a tresspass warning certificate was issued on May 1st when I went to talk to VP of Student Success Lisa Alcorta about the matter. The TWC was lifted on May 5th. There is no “ban.” Never was. The sanctions happen after the findings report is concluded.
    3) Campus police were not called, they were already at the event.
    4) According to the findings report, the non-academic misconduct consisted of a disruption that I was found responsible for.
    5) I have uploaded and sent the findings report to the author of this article, told them that I am not banned on campus, but this article has still not been updated.

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