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Colby United's Letter to College Trustees

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Dear Trustee _______, I am sure by now you are aware of the recent events regarding the unnecessary and overly aggressive conduct towards students that resulted in the detainment, arrest, and physical harm of three Colby students. The actions of the parties involved, including Campus Security, local law enforcement agencies, and students illustrate a greater problem of lack of communication, lack of trust, and a lack of common respect within our community. As the student body of Colby College, we have a collective grievance concerning 1. The excessive use of force by the law enforcement agencies and Colby College Security on the students involved in the incident. 2. The mismanagement of public relations by the Colby College Communications Office regarding the incident on Sunday, April 12, 2009 at approximately 1:30 am in the Pugh Center, especially the misleading statements released to the press by the Communications Office. 3. The long standing tension between Campus Security and students. 4. The misapplication of standard security protocol, which includes: the aggressive nature of the security officers and police officers responding to the incident, the unnecessary use of mace on a submissive and detained student, security officers issuing threats of physical violence towards by-standing students, as well as the verbal threatening of by-standing students by police officers, and finally lack of medical attention for the detained students. As full members of the Colby College community, we call for the following actions: 1. A public apology from the President's office, the Dean's Office and Colby College Security Department to the student body, especially towards the three arrested students. 2. Financial support for the arrested students who will and have already incurred legal costs. 3. The suspension of the involved security officers for the duration of the investigation by Colby College or the reassignment of those officers to less potentially volatile working hours such as weekday, daytime hours. 4. An open forum with President Adams, Campus Security, and other administration officials to discuss student grievances regarding the latest incident on Sunday, April 12, 2009 as well as planned future actions of the college in redressing the student body's concerns. 5. Open communication by the administration and transparency of the ongoing investigation into misconduct of all parties involved in the Sunday morning incident. 6. Stricter scrutiny and oversight of Colby College Security protocol especially the use of force by officers. 7. The establishment of a Colby College Student Bill of Rights for future interactions between students and security officers. 8. A reexamination of both the culture surrounding the use of alcohol on campus as well as Colby College Alcohol Policy. Our overarching goal is to create mutual trust, respect and accountability throughout the greater community in which we reside. As we move forward in pursuing positive change on campus, we rely on you as a trustee of the college to use your influence to make sure these grievances and actions that we propose are met immediately. We ask you to communicate directly to the entire Colby community by emailing us on your progress. The Colby community has mobilized under the group Colby United, currently composed of 1,663 students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni and is growing rapidly. Colby United can be reached at The following signatures collected from the Colby community are a testament to the importance and urgency of trustee action to make sure our needs are met. Sincerely, Colby United


In the wake of the disturbing events that transpired in the early hours of Sunday, April 12, 2009 at Colby College, we the members of Colby United have come together to support the students affected and to effect immediate and long term change on the campus of Colby College.


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