“The environment at this school is too forgiving of incidents like this.”
As the University of Connecticut community begins healing from a racism-fueled incident leading to the arrest of two students, some students have expressed satisfaction with the campus police’s efforts.
The incident in question occurred around midnight on Oct. 11 in a parking lot near the Charter Oak Apartments. Students Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj were recorded on video uttering racial slurs to students who looked from their apartment windows, according to arrest warrants obtained by The Daily Campus from the UConn Police Department.
“I feel as though what happened could’ve been prevented. The school should have stricter policies when it comes to situations like this and take swifter action,” third-semester human development and family studies major Catherin Bissereth said.
Bissereth’s sentiments were echoed by counterpart Kelly Hylton, a third-semester Allied Health major, who added, “When situations like this happen, we should have stricter consequences to prevent future occurrences. We can’t have things like this happening especially when it’s such a diverse campus.”
Despite the conclusion of the campus police’s investigation, the university continues to pursue its own.
“The process is separate from any criminal court proceedings,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “If the University receives indications that a student might have violated the Student Code of Conduct, the circumstances are reviewed by our Community Standards officers in the Division of Student Affairs.”
Student protests on Monday afternoon revealed that incidents of racism are common on campus, after several students shared their experiences, demanding stricter policies be implemented to eliminate the occurrence of these incidents.
“The environment at this school is too forgiving of incidents like this. The arrest of the students is definitely a step in the right direction,” Guiliana Marchetti, a fifth-semester civil engineering major, said. “Students who commit this kind of offense will notice that nothing is happening, so they’ll think they can get away with it.”
Despite calls from students for the university to take immediate action against the students in question, Reitz said the university is unable to discuss the specifics of their cases.
“Federal student privacy laws prevent UConn from addressing specifics of potential discipline against individual students,” Reitz said.
The university’s Student Code of Conduct outlines that a student found in violation of that code may have the opportunity to appeal following the investigation. It also determines that a student could be subject to disciplinary action ranging from probation to suspension or dismissal.
“I feel the students need to be expelled,” Shanelle Colmon, third-semester human development and family studies major, said. “Issues like these are way too common, so if an example like that is made, people would definitely be more conscious about what they say out loud around others.”
Both students, charged under Connecticut General Statutes 53-37, ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race, are scheduled to appear in Rockville Superior Court on Oct. 30.
Nicholas Martin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org