Despite the approach of mid-winter break, Eastern Michigan University has made some progress in addressing the aftermath Best Hall’s ethnic intimidation case. Though there has been no official ruling and doling of punishment by the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility (OWCR), disciplinary action has allegedly taken place against the perpetrator via Housing and Residence Life.
An inside source at the university’s Department of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) told the Echo that the main perpetrator in the case was removed from on-campus housing and their swipe access into the residence halls was revoked as well. The two suite mates who failed to remove the doll and were hosting the perpetrator have been removed from the suite. As of this story, the suite mates are still living on campus.
When asked for confirmation earlier this week, the director of HRL, Jeanette Zalba, was unable to formally confirm the information, though she did say that she has the “authority to remove people from campus before Conduct finishes their investigation.” Our source received the details of the perpetrator’s removal during a meeting between Director Zalba and university resident advisers on Friday, February 15.
This is in line with the list of demands students gave to the university at the February 12 rally, with one of the demands specifically calling for HRL to remove the perpetrator from on-campus housing.
Though more details are scarce regarding next steps from the OWCR and county prosecutor, the Eastern Echo is attempting to rectify that. This past week, the Echo requested the police report filed for the ethnic intimidation under the Freedom of Information Act. The request was promptly denied under the claim that the investigation was still ongoing and that the release of information could interfere with the investigation, prevent a fair trial for the perpetrator or possibly cause an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
The Echo will be seeking an appeal of the decision during or after the break.