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The Collegian News Blog

Collegian mailbag part deux

Monday, February 11, 2008

For alumni and other interested parties, the student body received this e-mail Sunday evening from the powers that be. It follows a week of arrests involving the campus and UMass students.

"To the Campus Community:

We write to enlist your help. Over the past eight days, administrators and safety personnel have been confronted with a series of incidents marked by such incivility and violence as to threaten our existence as a community defined by intellectual exploration, high regard for each other, and the freedom to move about without fear of being hurt.

Following an off-campus incident in the early morning of February 1, officials of the men's lacrosse team found cause to suspend eight of its players for a violation of team rules. Violence has been indicated in this charge that is still being investigated.

On Saturday, February 2, a charge of sexual assault in a residence hall was brought forward by one of our students against another.

On February 2, in a separate case, one of our residential students was charged with assault by another of our students.

Then, on February 3, three men were injured in the lobby of one of our residence halls, with two suffering stab wounds. As a result of this incident, a UMass student was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of armed assault with intent to rob or murder. The other two men involved in this incident are not members of the campus community. However, in an investigation that is ongoing, one has been charged with civil rights violations with injury, assault and battery to intimidate with bodily injury, and disorderly conduct.

These cases are being deliberated on campus, through our code of student conduct procedures; and they are also being addressed in the criminal courts. Consequently, we are under some restraint as to what more we can say about them, except to inform you that we have every confidence that members of our staff charged with such responsibilities have acted appropriately and will continue to conduct their investigations as professionally and honorably as befits our community.

We also want to assure you that, even though our campus is generally safe and will certainly get past these few violent incidents, we believe that one single act of violence is too many, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that all such behavior is discouraged. In that regard, we ask that we stand together to make this campus the safe, free environment that it should be.
Sincerely, Thomas W. Cole, Jr.
Chancellor

Esther Terry
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life"
posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:42 AM

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