By Ryan Bagley and Brian Elliott
Freshman Dylan Jones has been charged with third degree assault against the students and second degree assault against the University Police officers following an incident at Gordon Hall March 19.
A press release from the Police Benevolence Association (PBA) alleged that three students, two of whom are ResLife staff members, and two University Police lieutenants were assaulted.
The Police Benevolent Association press release commended University Police for handling the situation non-violently.
“Crimes that occur on campus are no different from those in municipalities,” the PBA press release stated. “We applaud the work of our University Police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect students, staff and visitors around the clock.”
University Police Chief Mark Giblin said that the officers were responding to a call that a Residential Life (ResLife) staff member had been attacked by another student.
“The officers were called for a disturbance for a student who had physically struck ResLife staff,” Giblin said. “[UP] responded as soon as they got called, they encountered the individual, he got physical with them, he was arrested, he was arraigned in village court, so now the prosecution is underway.”
Due to strict Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws and confidentiality clauses within the Code of Student Conduct, a good portion of information related to the incident is confidential.
There have been two cases within the past few months involving students being charged with felonies, and it is because of these laws and clauses that no detailed information regarding a student’s current enrollment or boarding status can be released by those who oversee the records that contain said information.
College spokesperson John Follaco said the process through which decisions are made regarding suspension from classes and removal from residence halls is a process that favors campus safety.
“Whenever Student Conduct is made aware of an allegation of a serious violation, such as a felony arrest, that has the potential to cause concern for campus safety, interim measures are considered,” Follaco said. “Interim suspensions provide Student Conduct with the time necessary to conduct a proper and fair investigation while ensuring the safety and well being of the entire campus—something that is always our highest priority.”
Incidents of assault within residence halls are not common and stray far from the norm of liquor law and noise violations that ResLife staff usually handles. From 2013-2015, disciplinary referrals for residence hall liquor law violations outnumbered residence hall assaults 857-to-1.
Giblin believes this incident is no cause for alarm on campus.
“It’s a rare occurrence. We typically don’t see it. It’s really a rare occurrence for a student or a suspect or anybody to raise hands against University Police.”
Incidents like this are rare, but when they do happen, Giblin said to call University Police and allow them to handle the situation.
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