Tyler Kissinger landed in hot water during a sit-in, but the 21-year-old public policy major has no regrets.
"The university likes to talk about its commitment to free speech, but when you look at reality, any time the inquiry gets critical, it gets shut down," he said.
Kissinger was part of a minimum wage rally last month outside the University of Chicago administration building.
Before the rally Kissinger said he entered the building under the guise of official business, and then propped open a locked door allowing protesters to stage that sit-in.
"Students ought to be able to have meetings with the people who are making decisions about their lives," he said.
For his part, Kissinger now faces a Friday disciplinary hearing - the day before he's to graduate. Expulsion is among the possible punishments.
"The debate I've been having this week is whether or not I spend the $46 on a cap and gown. I have not bought it yet," he said.
His case attracted the support of Bernie Sanders, a U of C alum, who took to Twitter Wednesday night.
Progress takes place when young people pick up the torch and say, "This is a world we are going to change." https://t.co/USvQ7EAZO6— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 8, 2016
"To punish students for free expression and for free assembly and for dissenting viewpoints I think chills free speech," Kissinger said.
In a statement Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the University of Chicago said: "Freedom of expression and dissent are fundamental values of the University of Chicago, as reflected in the Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression. The University's policies do not prevent students from engaging in protest, and the University does not discipline students for speaking out on any issue. Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue. All students are expected to follow the policies set forth in the Student Manual."