Chancellor Martin issues statement about Bear Day protest and egging incident

| Editor-in-Chief

Chancellor Andrew Martin released a statement on April 17 reaffirming Washington University community guidelines. The statement responded to the Bear Day protest on April 13 and offered an update on an egging incident that occurred at the Bear’s Den (BD) dining hall on March 21. 

Both of these incidents were unacceptable and have caused harm to members of our community and to the university itself.” Martin wrote. “I’m writing to you today because we all should expect better of the WashU community.”

Martin said the demonstration at Graham Chapel was a “blatant” violation of the WashU Demonstrations and Disruption Policy since it disrupted a University function. 

Twelve protestors at the event received court summons for trespassing, and Martin confirmed in his statement that WashU has initiated their student conduct process for the three WashU students who were protesting. Additionally, the protestors who are not students will be banned from campus and arrested if they return. 

Martin also wrote that the investigation into the egging incident was completed on April 16.

“Students – both Greek and non-Greek – participated in an event organized by a fraternity chapter that involved activities that were distasteful and disruptive to our Sodexo dining services colleagues at the Bear’s Den, including, for example, throwing eggs,” Martin wrote. 

He went on to clarify that the investigation revealed that the eggs were not thrown at dining hall workers. 

“Although our Sodexo colleagues indicated that eggs were not thrown at them, the actions of those involved showed great disrespect and disregard for their well-being,” he wrote. 

As a result of the incident, Martin stated that one of the involved organizations was suspended, and the other was placed on probation, lasting until Dec. 1, 2024. On the Campus Life section of WashU’s website, it states that Kappa Sigma is on social probation and temporary suspension, and that Alpha Phi is on temporary suspension.  

Martin also clarified the investigation’s results regarding the usage of a racial slur by an individual involved in the incident. 

“After reviewing all available evidence and speaking with witnesses, we cannot conclusively determine that this happened, and if it did, who said it or whether it might have been directed at any individual.”

Regardless of the conclusion about a potential slur being said, Martin wrote that he wanted to make it clear that WashU stands against all forms of racism, bigotry, harassment, and discrimination. 

“At WashU, we stand against anti-Blackness, racism, harassment, bigotry, and any form of discrimination against any group or individual,” he wrote. “The use of racial slurs directed at any individual or group to harass, intimidate, incite, or inflame is completely contrary to the standards of behavior we expect in our community.”

At the end of his statement, Martin wrote that he wanted to remind students it is both a privilege and a responsibility to be part of the WashU community. 

“We are firmly committed to free expression and allow ample opportunity for voices to be heard on our campus, but…no one in our community, and certainly no one outside of it, has the right to disrupt the ability of others to learn, work, and fully participate in campus life,” Martin said. 

He added that students who chose to participate in disruptive activities would be subject to swift action and emphasized what he views as WashU’s core values.

“The strength of our community is our greatest asset,” he wrote. “It is my sincere hope that we will move forward together through mutual respect, constructive dialogue, and care for one another.” 

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