Letter to the Editor: Decision to expel is unjust and extreme

To whom it may concern,

Hello, my name is Kevin Carr, I am a freshman majoring in Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences here at the University of Connecticut. The reason I am writing to you today is to bring up Community Standard’s decision to expel my friend from the university, who will be referred to as Student X to protect his identity. Before I state my support, I would like start at the beginning of the semester.

My father, Stephen Carr, went to the University of Connecticut and graduated with a BA in Communications in 1985. He played rugby here with the present coach, Bob Merola. Through  this connection, I was intrigued to join the men’s club team when I came to campus and was later invited to move in early to participate in preseason training. Coming early to campus was the best opportunity I’ve had in terms of transitioning from high school to college. Upon my arrival to depot field for the first time, I met Student X. Immediately, he made a point of introducing me to the guys on the team and took me under his wing. He knew that this was my first time ever playing the sport and was there to answer any question I had. He helped me become a part of the team and I could never forget his role in my success so far this year.

He is the kind of guy everyone wants around. He can make anyone smile at anytime and has an illuminating presence. I’ve witnessed that community is something immensely important to this school, and he is a person that brings together the whole team as a community. He is a valued member to the team in terms of moral, and can radiate positivity across the whole field. He also volunteers with the UConn Leadership Office, works three different internships, and just recently accepted an impressive job offer to begin after this year. Dismissing someone like this from the university would honestly be a reduction to the community and his future.

Yes, he did make a mistake and should not be abolished from all punishment. That is not my reason for writing. My goal is to help you see that the decision to expel him is unjust and an extreme.

Throughout the past few days, I have researched the University’s standards, consequences, and statistics. In the Responsibility of Student Life: The Student Code, it states “Due to the student’s conduct history there is the possibility of University Suspension or University Expulsion if the student is found responsible for a subsequent violation”. Student X was set on probation until March 1, 2016. Unfortunately, he was unaware that he had to request to appear before the Probation Review Committee in order to petition for his probation to be removed, so it has carried over to today. This is obviously an unfortunate circumstance as the ruling could have been much different if he were removed from his probation. However, due to technicality, he is still considered on University Probation. After further reading, I have found some interesting statistics that provide support for my argument. According to the Student Conduct Process Statistics from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2016, there has never been an expulsion for alcohol related incidents except for two cases in 2012-2013 where students were expelled for “Driving under the influence of alcohol and striking a pedestrian”. Additionally, there has only been two suspensions for “Disruptive off-campus party while on University Probation”(2015-2016) and two suspensions for “Possession of alcohol and drugs while on University Probation”(2012-2013). He did not possess any drugs. My reasoning behind presenting these statistics to you is that they expose the decision to expel Student X as incomparable to his actions. Based on the precedent set by previous Community Standard rulings, expelling him would be a certain extreme.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope I have depicted Student X as accurately as possible, and that the ruling to expel him is reconsidered.

Sincerely,

Kevin Carr