University News

Event staffer allegedly harasses students at party

Office of Student Life addresses concerns, notifies third-party contractor of incidents

News Editor
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Multiple students were allegedly harassed by an event security staff officer at a party co-hosted by Brown’s Organization of Multiracial and Biracial Students and Harambee House Oct. 14, according to a statement released by BOMBS Oct. 16 on its Facebook page.

The security officer is employed by a third-party contractor, wrote Director of News and Editorial Content Brian Clark in an email to The Herald.

BOMBS first described an incident involving a black student who was standing outside of the party on a ramp outside the door. The white security officer told the student to get off the ramp, and the student told the officer that his “ancestors built this campus” and that his tuition allowed him to be in that public University space, according to the statement. The officer responded that his own ancestors “were practically slaves on a potato farms,” according to the statement.

In the second incident, an unnamed female student was provoked by the same officer after walking into the party without waiting in line. When she walked in, the security officer “grabbed the student while yelling at her” and proceeded to “push the student out of the building by her neck,” according to the statement. The officer later bragged “to other employees and BOMBS (executive) board members about how the student would likely have bruises on her neck in the morning.”

The third incident involved the same officer enticing two male students who were deciding whether or not to enter the party “by offering them different members of the BOMBS (executive) board with phrases like, ‘What about her? She’s pretty’ and pointing to various women,” according to the statement.

The “officers are supposed to remain unprovoked. The officer’s response was unprofessional, racist and hurtful to the student,” according to BOMBS’ statement, which was signed by the group’s executive board.

The BOMBS executive board met with University administrators Tuesday afternoon to discuss the incidents, BOMBS said in a second statement released on its Facebook page Tuesday.

Clark also confirmed that staff from the Office of Student Life “have already been in touch with the contractor to make them aware of what the students reported to ensure that the employee in question is not assigned to upcoming student group events and to discuss additional and ongoing training for staff,” he wrote in the email.

The Student Activities Office told the BOMBS executive board that “staffing at events in the future will be more intentional in terms of the diversity of the staff employed,” according to a second statement issued by the group. 

BOMBS and Harambee House did not respond to The Herald’s requests for comment.

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