UMass begins Blarney Blowout dicipline process

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of UMass students went to court this week after being arrested at the Blarney Blowout last weekend, but their problems won’t end with the legal system.

The academic futures of those students are now in question as the University Administration prepares to dole out consequences for unruly behavior.

Originally a downtown bar promotion, thousands threw a party during the Blarney Blowout. The University sent out message to the students warning them about unruly behavior.

Julia Burgess is a Junior at UMass, she told 22News she thinks the warnings may have had the opposite intended effect. “Telling people don’t go to this huge event that we are not sponsoring and don’t get in trouble at it. They just made people more aware of it.”

When it was over, about 70 people were facing charges.

“It reflects poorly on our university but at the same time, half the kids who were there didn’t even go to our school,” said Bill Mack, a Junior at UMass.

In the days ahead there were protests by students and claims of excessive police force. The University told 22News they take claims of police brutality very seriously and plan on looking at the evidence presented for each claim.

Jordan Deschenes is a UMass Sophomore. He said, “I feel like with both parties, there was a different way to approach the situation.”

The University has already begun scheduling meetings with students whose police reports were handed over to the dean.

“Many of those are here. Some are not. The ones we have gotten, we then look at the evidence and then schedule meetings with the students to discuss potential discipline,” said UMass Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Code of conduct consequences may range from a warning, to expulsion from the University. Once a form of discipline is decided, the student can either sign an agreement accepting the consequences or request a hearing. After the hearing, the student could appeal to the Vice Chancellor.

Amherst Police told 22News they had to commit 100% of their resources to Blowout, leaving the rest of the town unpatroled.

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