Email from Manchester University President Dave McFadden on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.

Dear campus community,

I wanted to let everyone know where we stand with the incidents Saturday night, what has transpired and where we are going from here.

Also, I encourage all of you who have concerns to attend tonight’s forum at 8 p.m. in the Lahman Room of the Jo Young Switzer Center, and I’m grateful to Student Senate for arranging that.

Please know that there is nothing more important to me than the safety of our students and our campus community. We hear your safety concerns very clearly and we are working diligently to address them.

Let’s recap events:
• Late Saturday night, two visitors to campus reported being robbed in the East Hall parking lot.
• University Safety promptly notified the North Manchester Police Department.
• During the investigation by University Safety and NMPD, the alleged victims and suspects were interviewed on the scene. The visitors who reported being robbed declined to complete a statement or pursue charges with local police. No one was taken into custody or charged, and an earlier communication about that was based on incorrect information we had at the time. No weapon was found
• University Safety sent campus alerts via email and text.
• In the early morning hours Sunday, there was also a gathering of students in the East Hall U-drive that involved yelling and verbal threats, but no injuries. 
• Out of an abundance of caution, the University banned two Manchester students from campus except to attend classes and participate in final exams until an internal investigation and conduct hearing were complete. The visitors who made the initial report were given no-trespass orders.
• University staff began its own investigation into the events and we shared an email update with students, parents, faculty and staff on Sunday evening, based on the information we had at that time.
• On Tuesday afternoon, the University completed its investigation and found no justification to support continuing the interim measure to bar the students from campus.

Our investigation was thorough, based on the evidence that we have. Based on FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), reporting any more information about the student conduct hearing would be a violation of federal law. We apply those privacy standards to all of our students and follow the rules of due process. 

The University enforces its own rules on discipline and conduct. Local police can conduct their own separate investigation if they have a reason to believe a crime was committed. We have fully cooperated with police in this matter.

Please remember to be kind to and supportive of one another. Rumors can spread quickly, verbally and on social media, and by their nature they are often incomplete and inaccurate. They also can do unintentional harm to innocent people. Before you perpetuate those rumors, please ask yourself if it is necessary and if you know the information you are sharing is accurate. 

In regards to enhancing campus safety, I have talked with our board chair, and the trustees are equally concerned about student safety and are ready to invest in those needs. I will be taking a funding proposal to them when they meet on Dec. 18: 

– We have identified the areas of campus most in need of more lighting and are getting quotes to make those changes as soon as possible. Student Senate is also looking at where more lighting is needed, and we will work with them as we move forward.

Security cameras
– We double-checked and confirmed that all current campus security cameras are functioning. There are 35 cameras on campus, including in some parking lots and inside and outside many buildings. We are getting quotes to add more, though, particularly in areas of concern, such as in and near residence halls, and in additional parking lots. 

– Our residence hall renovation plans include installing a secure and versatile key card system for all residence halls, one that can be programmed to allow different levels of access depending on the time of day and other factors.

– We are identifying options for replacing our existing emergency text notification system to one that is more responsive.

Emergency call boxes
– We are looking at a mobile app that will allow you to hit an emergency button on your mobile device – a portable emergency call box – which is a safer option than blue-light poles in an emergency. We believe we should use the best technology available. We had the blue-light system in the past, but it was rarely or never used for its intended purpose. We believe we should use the best technology available.

University Safety currently offers safety escorts on campus to anyone who requests it. This program will soon be expanded to include a pilot program to offer a “safe walk,” in which a pair of trained students who work for University Safety will be available in the evening and early morning to accompany anyone who is anywhere on campus.

Training is available on campus now, at no cost to you, from University Safety. This includes:
• National Self-Defense Institute training sessions for female students
• Basic self-defense training sessions for all students
• Violent intruder training
• Vehicle safety

There are also options you could explore:
Counseling services are available for those who feel anxiety or simply want to talk things out.
• Manchester also offers conflict resolution and mediation for members of the Manchester University community. Education for Conflict Resolution can be contacted at 982-4621. 

To learn more:
*MU Conduct Review System
*Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
*University Safety services

If you know of a Spartan parent who did not get this email, please send their email contact information to Tish Kalita from the Student Affairs Leadership Team at so that their information can be added for any future emails.