UPDATE: Domestic Abuse Victim Forced To Leave Campus Housing
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 20:10
*To protect those involved, neither the student's name, the friend's name or the ex-boyfriend's name will be used in this story.
A College at Brockport student was removed from campus Thursday, Oct 25 due to conditions surrounding a tumultuous relationship with her and her ex-boyfriend.
The student was originally a commuter but reached out to Brockport Residential Life early in October, asking for housing immediately due to her unsafe living situation. The student said living on the college campus was actually her third choice. She was previously turned away from two other living options. The student said she could not turn to any immediate family and a local women's organization could not provide housing.
At the time, the student felt endangered by her housing. She was not living with her ex-boyfriend, however there were several incidents where he vandalized cars on the premise and her home.
According the student, she suffered from both physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her then boyfriend.
The college granted the student housing Saturday, Oct. 13. The student paid the appropriate fees for on-campus living. She remained in campus housing up until this past week.
The college issued a letter to the ex-boyfriend informing him of the University Police report of sexual misconduct and the administration’s decision that he be restricted from campus.
On Thursday, Oct. 25 the college determined it could not provide the necessary level of safety for the student and had her removed from campus housing.
According to representatives from the college the student was given different options for housing off-campus, however staying on campus was not a possibility.
David Mihalov, chief communication officer for the college, said the student will be refunded her housing costs.
According to a close friend of the student who was present at the Thursday meeting, members from the college felt that allowing the student to stay on campus would endanger the safety of the rest of the student body.
The student told The Stylus she felt safe living on campus and upset, schocked and scared when asked to leave.
She then said that the college removed her from campus because of the welfare of other students, yet she is a student and had to leave.
The removal of the student comes a day after she filed a report with University Police (UP) after her car was vandalized.
The student’s car had its front and rear window smashed in, as well all four tires slashed. The report lists the students’ ex-boyfriend as the primary suspect, and the victim has stated she is sure it is him. The student said that the way her car was vandalized on Wednesday is identical to how her room mates car was vandalized by her ex-boyfriend during the summer.
Chief Robert Kehoe, chief of UP, said that the college was originally concerned about the extensive violent past of her boyfriend, and although it was not the sole factor, Wednesday’s incident heightened their concern.
Kehoe also said there is nothing directly linking the boyfriend to the car vandalism.
For charges unrelated to the car vandalization there is currently a warrant out for his arrest by the Rochester Police Department for criminal mischief. He is also known to have a "lengthy" criminal record.
A local women’s organization gave the student a place to stay for Thursday night.
The student said that she did not feel safe there and feared her ex boyfriend would locate her.
Fearing for her safety at the place she was originally placed at, the student chose to leave and spend the night with her sister.
According to a statement released by the college this afternoon, officials are working on finding her different housing that will better ensure her safety.
In terms of the students’ education, the college stated it is not in her best interest to return to classes here. The college is working to allow her the chance to finish courses online and other options.
The college’s statement is as follows:
Earlier this month a commuter student contacted a member of our residential staff indicating she was in a difficult domestic situation, was experiencing car problems, and was looking for on-campus housing; that request was accommodated.
When we just learned the seriousness of her situation, including the criminal history of her ex-boyfriend, we determined that in this specific case we could not provide the necessary level of safety for the student. College officials decided it was most appropriate to refer her to an organization that specializes in domestic violence issues and would be better equipped to protect the student's safety as well as provide the additional resources she may require.
Last evening a College representative contacted the student to check on her and was told of the student's concern with where she had been placed. The student was told that the College would contact the appropriate people and organizations today to find her safe appropriate housing. The College continues to work to ensure the safety of this student, and all of our students.