Reinharz writes students of his concern over weekend of drinking and rowdiness
President says incidents are unprecedented in his 16 years leading the university
The following is the text of a letter that President Jehuda Reinharz sent to the student body last night, October 25, addressing problem drinking and rowdiness that occurred on campus last weekend.
Brandeis has always endeavored to provide a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all members of this community. Over the weekend there were several incidents on campus that marred that effort.
I write to you because these incidents are unprecedented in my 16 years as president, and they cause me and other members of this community great concern. I want to share those concerns with you.
Many of you were no doubt present at the Pachanga event on Saturday night. Others may have attended the many parties around campus, either in preparation for attending Pachanga or independent of the event.
Staff members on duty that night – especially those from Public Safety, Community Living, the Intercultural Center (ICC), Student Activities and Facilities -- believe that the vast majority of the problems encountered throughout the night were due to intoxication.
Multiple students needed to be taken by ambulance to a local hospital or treated on campus for alcohol-related problems. Two students were arrested on campus for allegedly abusing campus police officers and members of Bemco, which had responded to a report of an intoxicated student in a residence hall. Another student sold fraudulent wristbands to Pachanga, which contributed to overcrowding and some of the problems that led to the pulling of a false fire alarm.
All of this news is disheartening because in addition to unacceptable health risks, it demonstrates a lack of basic respect that students must show to each other and to the staff who are here to protect our community. We will not tolerate this conduct and those who engage in it will face campus disciplinary procedures and possible criminal charges.
The leaders of the International Club worked hard to plan and produce a program they could be proud of. Unfortunately, their event was disrupted by the actions of many of those who attended. This is a campus that prides itself on its leaders, and justifiably so. Respect for leadership, by other leaders, is a requirement that was abandoned Saturday night.
Public Safety, Student Affairs and student leaders are reviewing the events of the weekend and will work to ensure that we do not see a repeat of these incidents. We will also re-examine the steps we take to educate students about the risks inherent in alcohol consumption.
Each of you can help. Take responsibility for your own actions and encourage others to live up to the community standards that are so ingrained at Brandeis. Above all, your health and safety, and the health and safety of your friends, are paramount.
In my experience at Brandeis, the kind of behavior we saw on campus over the weekend was very unusual. It is my strong hope that it will prove to be an anomaly.