WMU News

President vows action against those responsible for melee

March 17, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University President Elson S. Floyd today pledged to ensure that the actions of a small number of students over the weekend would not be allowed to damage the University's reputation.

"There are those who would like Western Michigan University to return to a time when it was perceived as a 'party school.' I simply will not tolerate the actions of those few individuals who do not reflect the spirit and values of this campus community," Floyd said. "This weekend's activities were the actions of a determined few, who acted without regard for either their own futures or the good name of this University. I am resolved to go after those who seek to damage the outstanding work done by so many to promote the reputation of this wonderful institution."

Acting in response to a disturbance that occurred in rental housing near the Western edge of the campus during the early morning hours of March 16, Floyd outlined the following measures he has ordered in response to the disturbance.

WMU students arrested at the scene will immediately be served with suspensions that will bar them from the campus. Campus judicial hearings on those students' actions will be scheduled in the future.

Any additional students charged with criminal activity as a result of ongoing investigations of the incident also will face immediate suspension.

Members of the campus community will be asked to volunteer information that will help the University identify those who played a role in the incident. A Web site will be set up to aid in that effort.

Under provisions of a federal campus security act, the University will identify areas adjacent to the campus where crime problems are prevalent and will make that information available to the public.

The University will launch an immediate evaluation of all WMU alcohol policies.

Kalamazoo Public Safety officers, along with officers from the WMU Department of Public Safety and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department responded to the disturbance March 16 and arrested four people, three of whom have been identified as students. The crowd dispersed by law enforcement officers was estimated at 500-600 people. No injuries were reported, and damages to private and city property are still being assessed. University officials, including Floyd were on hand to witness the event first hand.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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