WMU News

President Floyd responds to weekend disturbance

Sept. 10, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, Sept. 8-9, a disturbance on Lafayette Avenue near the WMU campus resulted in the arrests of at least 21 people, several of whom have been identified as WMU students. About 50 police officers were involved in dispersing an estimated crowd of 2,000.

Two Kalamazoo Public Safety officers were reported to have received minor injuries and several police vehicles were damaged. The amount of private property damage from the disturbance has not yet been determined.

In response to the events of Sept. 8 and 9, University President Dr. Elson S. Floyd issued the following statement today.

President Floyd's Statement

I deeply regret and apologize on behalf of the entire University community for the inexcusable events of early Sunday morning on Lafayette Avenue. Given the number of individuals involved, we are fortunate that no serious injuries were reported.

Let me make this point crystal clear, this kind of behavior is inconsistent with the values of this University and will not be tolerated. Our University has a wonderful academic reputation, and I will not have that image tarnished by the shameful behavior of some.

The University will take appropriate action in this matter. However, to prevent similar occurrences in the future, it will require the involvement of all of us.

Specifically, I have identified the following preliminary actions to be augmented as we learn more.

1. We will continue our comprehensive investigation into the matter, in conjunction with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, since this event occurred off-campus and the matter of jurisdiction resides primarily with the City of Kalamazoo.

2. Those students charged with felony violations have already been contacted by Judicial Affairs at the University, and we will apply appropriate sanctions consistent with our Code of Student Conduct.

3. The parents of students involved in this incident will be contacted immediately as permitted by law.

4. Effective immediately, student organizations and groups will be required to register with the Department of Student Activities and Leadership Programs if they expect to attract more than 100 individuals to any single event.

5. We are reviewing our internal communications to determine which University offices should have known about the party and to ascertain why the event got completely out-of-control.

6. And finally, I am appointing an off-campus advisory group to advise me on issues involving our students and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 616 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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