The University failed to meet the standard of openness and honesty expected of an institution of higher learning by deciding not to disclose the outcome of Atilla Cosby’s Student Judicial Services hearing.
If SJS found Cosby guilty of any infractions stemming from the May 15 incident, students deserve to know. Likewise, if SJS found that Cosby was not guilty of committing any offenses, students should be informed.
Through its actions, the University has shown that it does not value the right of students and faculty members to know whether not the people they interact with have a history of violence.
Although the 1998 Higher Education Amendment does not mandate that GW administrators release any information about students who have allegedly committed violent crimes, it does offer the option.
If GW chose to disclose this information, it would give students the deserved power to make their own choices about their personal safety.
As it stands, GW students will never know if alleged perpetrators of violent crimes are allowed to live in their residence halls and walk freely on their campus until they see them on campus.
If GW is truly dedicated to its promise of providing a safe environment for students, it will inform students about the outcomes of SJS cases involving violent crimes and allow students to decide for themselves what measures they should take to ensure their safety.
This article appeared in the July 10, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.