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MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State professor who called campus police on a student who would not switch seats in the middle of class on Tuesday is being admonished by the university.

President Geoffrey Mearns sent a letter to faculty and staff on Thursday, calling Prof. Shaheen Borna’s handling of the situation an “unwarranted overreaction.” 

Sultan Benson, who is African-American and a business administration major at Ball State, is the student he asked to move. He told WISH-TV he felt like Borna “targeted” him because of his skin color.

“I was scared I was going to get shot, I was going to get tased, get beat or arrested,” he said.

Benson said they have assigned seats in the marketing class in which Borna is the professor. He said when he came to class Tuesday another student was sitting in his seat and instead of making a big deal about he simply sat in another seat that was open. The other student left after the class had begun and when Borna asked Benson to move to that seat, Benson refused. That’s when Borna called campus police.

“This choice was a gross error in judgment,” Mearns said in his letter. “It was simply an unwarranted overreaction. Upon learning of the incident … the Provost met with the professor to express our collective concern.”

Mearns said Prof. Borna has sent an apology to all students in the class in which the incident happened. Benson accepts the apology but feels Mearns and other school leaders need to do more.

“I do believe that he cares, but as a whole, I don’t think the impact is great enough yet,” he said. “I want to see Ball State say: ‘lets put our students first for once.”

Benson also believes Prof. Borna should retire.

(PHOTO: Screencap from Barstool Ball State/ig/branden__roberts)