UMass Amherst Suspends Five Students; Chancellor David Scott Condemns Unruly Behavior and Orders Video Cameras Installed

AMHERST, Mass. - Jo-Anne Vanin, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Massachusetts, has suspended five students facing court charges in two separate incidents on the UMass campus pending disciplinary proceedings. All suspensions are effective immediately.

According to the University''s student code of conduct, the dean of students has the authority to impose such restrictions on a student, without prior notice, "whenever there is ground to believe that the student is an imminent threat to himself or herself, to others, or to property, or the cause of serious disruption to the University community." The judicial process offers students an opportunity to meet with a University official to discuss the charges and a hearing if necessary.

Chancellor David K. Scott has promised an unrelentingly tough stance on unruly, inappropriate behavior of students. Scott said he deplores the destructive behavior of students and promises to take appropriate disciplinary measures. "We will not tolerate the behavior of a few disruptive types and we are taking the strongest action possible under the law and the code of student conduct," Scott said.

Scott said he is ordering the installation of video cameras both outside and in the entryways to buildings in the Southwest residential area. He said: "The time has come for cameras to ensure the safety of the vast majority of our students who find this kind of behavior abhorrent."

Scott has also asked the Dean of Students Office to look into holding groups of students responsible for costs when University property is deliberately damaged or destroyed. He said, "I see no reason why University or taxpayers'' funds should be used to pay for damage caused by a small number of hooligans." Scott emphasized that the large majority of UMass students do not take part in such behavior and said "a small minority" damages the campus''s reputation.

The suspended students are John M. Moran, 20, of Arlington, Mass., and Jared T. Bruun, 21, of Acton, Mass., charged in connection with a disturbance and fire in the Southwest residential area during a power outage, early last Saturday morning, April 8.
Also suspended are: Joaquim A. Alves, 21, and Renato A. Brandao, 23, both of Dorchester, Mass.; and Roberto B. Andrade, 25, of Brockton, Mass., accused in court of raping a 15-year-old girl last February at two locations, one a UMass residence hall.

Scott also called for a meeting with the leadership of the Student Government Association to discuss the installation of video cameras and other campus safety issues and to seek the support of the leadership of the student body in making the campus safer.