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January 26, 2007
Volume 93, Issue 14
The Independent Student Voice of Guilford College
WWW. G U I L FORDIAN.COM
VIOLENCE STRIKES CAMPUS
Bryan Cahall | Staff Writer
Josh Cohen | News Editor
PascaleVallee I W&N Editor
Tliree Guilford students — sophomore
Michael Bates, junior Michael Six and senior
Christopher Barnette — were arrested on Jan.
22 on charges of assault and battery and hate
crime assault following a violent altercation in
Bryan Hall on Jan. 20.
Shortly after midnight, three Palestinian
students, sophomores Osama Sabbah and
Paris Khader and North Carolina State Uni
versity first-year Omar Awartani were alleg
edly assaulted by approximately 15 Guilford
students including Bates, Six and Barnette.
Bryan resident Peter Deng, a sophomore,
said that the alleged aggressors called the Pal
estinian students "dirty terrorists."
"A fight is a fight, but this was a jump," said
sophomore Dan Jimenez, who witnessed the
According to hospital records, all three Pal
estinian students sustained injuries. Sabbah
sustained a contusion on his right hand and
a concussion. Khader sustained a fractured
nose, multiple contusions, and a concussion.
Awartani has head contusions, a severe con
cussion, and a broken jaw.
When questioned about possible injuries
sustained by the alleged attackers, who are all
members of the fcx)tball team. Assistant Head
Football Coach Pat Randolph had "no com
ment on the situation"
"It was the most extreme aggressiveness
I've ever seen in my life," Awartani said.
"Coming from Palestine, it's hard to believe
the worst thing to have happened to me hap
pened in America at a Quaker school."
An R.A. on duty said brass knuckles were
confiscated from one of the attacking stu
Students have expressed concern about
Public Safet/s response time.
"1 called Public Safety a few minutes after
it started, and they told me that they already
knew about the fight," said Bryan resident
Laura Herman, a first-year. "1 thought 'Oh
gX)d, they're right across the street and on
their way,' but no one came for so long."
"For the longest time, there were only stu
dents trying to calm things down," Jimenez
"Public Safety and the R.A.s should have
been there much faster," said Deng, who was
one of the students who tried to break up the
Security Coordinator Keifer Bradshaw dis
puted these claims.
Bradshaw said that students did not see
Public Safety officers because they were "con
sumed by the crowd."
"The officers on duty received the call at
12:30," Bradshaw said. "The response time
was three minutes."
Students have also expressed concern
about the number of people that passively
watched the fight.
"What bothered me most is that so many
people just stood aroimd and watched — what
were they thinking?" Awartani said. "You
don't have to be wWte, black, brown, pro-Pal
estinian or anti-racist to have stopped it, just a
"It was disgusting," Jimenez said. "It was
as if everyone was watching at the Coliseum in
Roman times. I don't understand why (more)
people didn't try and stop it."
On Jan. 23, Dean of Campus Life Aaron
Fetrow held a press conference m the Office
of Advancement for reporters, and allowed
several students to attend. Fetrow discussed
topics ranging from the school's tactics for
handling this situation, the parent and student
responses, and possible repercussions and
sanctions for the students involved.
"We believe that a very, very unfortunate
conflict between students who knew each
other has occurred," said Fetrow in the press
On the afternoon of Jan. 24, members of
QLSP held a candle-light vigil for peace.
Over 100 people attended including stu
dents, faculty and staff. Students recited
stump speeches before a candle-lit procession
through campus. A silent worship followed
hi the late afternoon, a campus-wide open
forum was held. President Kent Chabotar
spoke about the ramifications of the attacks
and the school's subsequent plans of action.
"We all need to seek trufii, we all need to
seek justice, and we all need to seek reconcili
ation," Chabotar said. "Those are hard — im
possible to achieve without due process and
without listening to each other."
An hour of open discussion followed the
words from Chabotar. Topics ranged from
what sort of actions need to be taken immedi
ately to how the community can prevent this
event from fading away into obscurity.
While Chabotar was giving his final state
ments, flyers circulated through the audience
announcing a student walk-out from classes
the following day, Jan 25.
Lucy Rowe comforts Melanie Pringle during stump speeches in front of Founders Hall leading up to
a candle-light vigil and Quaker worship in front of Dana Auditorium on Jan. 24.
See more photos on pages 6&7
■i; It is very easy to sit in a room with people who were not present at the altercation ... and say 'I know what happened/ ^
'' "" - Aaron Fetrow, Dean for Campus Life