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CSU Dean Writes Letter to Students About Consequences of Weekend Party and Riot in Fort Collins

Crowd at party at Summerhill Townhomes in Fort Collins
AOL, YouTube

A little advice for the younger generation:  Be careful what you put on YouTube. Fort Collins police say they will find out who started the riot at the block party at the Summerhill Townhomes over the weekend.  They are currently reviewing videos from that party.  Colorado State University is actively involved in the investigation as well.  The Dean of Students, Jody Donovan wrote a letter to all the students at CSU outlining how the university plans to respond.  This is the entire letter:

Dear Students,

I know many of you have heard about the party that occurred Saturday night west of campus that had to be broken up by Fort Collins police.

The details of what happened have been well-covered by the media, so I’m not going to revisit that. Instead, I want to remind students of the very serious consequences involved with participating in or being present at an event that deteriorates into riot behavior.

As Dean of Students, I want to first acknowledge the many of you who have let the university know that you don’t want what happened Saturday night to define CSU students. We know that the vast majority of our students are embarrassed to be associated with the behavior exhibited this weekend, and we know that most students make sensible choices and have the common sense to leave a gathering that appears to be getting out of control – particularly when asked to leave by authorities. I also want to acknowledge and thank those of you who went over and helped clean up the Summerhill neighborhood on Sunday. Still, what happened Saturday night is an embarrassment to all of us, and I want to be absolutely clear that such behavior is not tolerated at Colorado State University.

The university is taking this incident very seriously and will cooperate fully with the ongoing police investigation. Students who are found to be involved in rioting behavior will be held accountable through the legal system, the student conduct system, or both. The university fully supports police efforts to identify responsible individuals.

The Student Code of Conduct and Colorado law are both very clear about riotous behavior. The university’s Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, which is the student conduct branch of the university, will work with Fort Collins Police Services. Students found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct can face university consequences, even if they don’t face criminal charges.

Under Colorado law, students who are convicted of a riot offense shall be immediately suspended from the university for 12 months and also are prohibited from registering at any Colorado state-supported college or university for a full year. Even “just watching” at an out-of-control event can get you into trouble because it can thwart police and EMT efforts to get the incident under control and keep people safe. If you are there, you are part of the problem. In addition to the legal consequences, the university’s Student Code of Conduct strictly prohibits aiding, abetting, encouraging, participating in or inciting a riot, as well as failing to disperse at the direct request of police or university officials.

Consequences are determined on a spectrum based on behavior, and can include separation from the university. I want to reiterate that we know that the vast majority of our students make good choices and don’t want to be associated with this incident. But if things get out of control, the students involved will be held accountable. Take care of yourself and others, and if you see a situation escalating into something that looks like trouble, leave immediately.

Let’s finish out the rest of the semester and school year in a way that continues to make us proud to be Rams.

Thank you,

Jody Donovan
Dean of Students

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