Distributed February 27, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Disciplinary procedures pending

Brown separates two students charged in Monday morning assault

Brown University officials have separated two of three students involved in a violent incident in a residence hall Monday morning. The students will not be allowed on campus, but arrangements will be made to allow them to continue their coursework until the University’s disciplinary process is complete.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Officials at Brown University today (Sunday, Feb. 27, 2000) announced that two of three students involved in a violent incident in a residence hall last week will be separated from campus until an investigation by the Office of Student Life has been completed and the matter has been resolved.

Separation, unlike suspension or dismissal, is not the result of a disciplinary process. The separated students retain all their rights and responsibilities and are expected to continue their academic work during their separation from campus. Academic deans will assist them in making arrangements with faculty to receive and complete assignments. A third student will be allowed to attend classes and use academic facilities and dining halls, but will not be allowed in University residence halls or at non-academic events.

Brown’s Student Handbook specifically gives the president and senior deans authority to enforce separations. That authority was exercised by Robin Rose, dean of student life.

“The University recognizes and understands the fear and anger expressed by students, particularly female students of color, as a result of this incident,” said President Sheila E. Blumstein. “Violence or threats of violence are intolerable in our community, which thrives on openness, freedom of expression and freedom from fear. We will resolve this matter fairly and as quickly as we can, respecting the rights of all parties, so that all members of our campus community can continue their work confidently and without further disturbance.”

According to police reports, at approximately 2 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 21, three male Caucasian students allegedly kicked, pushed and restrained a female African American student during an incident which began when the female student refused to hold open a door at the residence hall entrance. (Students are advised not to hold doors for persons they do not know or for persons who behave suspiciously.) Brown University Police responded to the residence hall following reports of an assault in progress. They apprehended two of the male students; the third had fled the scene. The students were arrested and taken to Providence Police headquarters, where they were held overnight for the next court session. The third suspect later identified himself to Brown Police.

The two students who have been separated face criminal charges of assault. The third student was charged with disorderly conduct.

Blumstein has instructed Janina Montero, vice president for campus life and student services, to undertake a review of the University’s response to the incident, its communications with the students involved, and the adequacy of its existing processes.

“This incident has caused great distress to the victim and to the community,” Blumstein said. “The University regrets that the pace of its response fell short of our expectations. We will respond effectively to remaining concerns.”