University of New Hampshire Officials to Suspend Students Arrested at Last Night's Durham Riot, Pending Outcome of Student Conduct Cases

UNH President Hart Says Expulsion is Possible

Jennifer Murray, Vice President for University Communications

Kim Billings, Director of Media Relations

Oct. 17, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. – As soon as the final arrest confirmations are received, the University of New Hampshire will immediately notify the UNH students involved in last night’s disturbance of interim suspension from the university. The students will not be allowed on-campus, to live in residence halls, or to attend classes, pending the outcome of student conduct hearings. Scholarships are also placed on hold. An interim suspension can be imposed when a student poses a threat to the community.

The announcement comes less than a day after some 1,500 to 2,000 students rioted in downtown Durham following Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

“We need to deal swiftly and decisively with this issue,” said UNH President Ann Weaver Hart. “We are outraged at the level of contempt and disregard for peers, police, and property witnessed last night in Durham, and we are taking immediate action. In spite of the sincere efforts of student leaders working peer-to-peer, it is apparent that providing alternative on-campus activities for students is not enough, and we must find new ways to deal with this serious problem. The town of Durham and the university deserve better.”

University and town officials worked for more than two weeks in anticipation of the American League baseball play-offs. Decisions were made by both the town and UNH that were based on feedback from last month’s student summit, including downplaying the police presence and providing a safe place for students to celebrate.

In addition, UNH student leaders spent the past two weeks talking one-on-one with other students in residence halls and off-campus apartments, raising the awareness of the university’s expectation for responsible celebrations and the consequences of high-risk and illegal behavior.

“What student leaders were able to accomplish mattered,” said Mark Rubinstein, UNH vice president for student and academic services. “They started a process--one that we all agreed at the student summit would be long and complex--to solve a problem. These students made a conscious choice about what they value and what they believe that we, as an institution, are capable of becoming.”

The UNH spokesperson is Mark Rubinstein. He will be checking voicemail frequently over the weekend.

UNH Phone: (603) 862-4979