Statement of Chairman Thomas and President Caret
Clearly, the recent unruliness in Amherst was distressing and meets with the disapproval of the vast majority of the members of the UMass community, and casts a great university in an unfavorable light across the state.
That the majority of the young people arrested were not UMass Amherst students is a real and material fact, but it does not obscure the fact that some of our students were arrested and others behaved in a manner that does not reflect well on the University and its proud history, nor does it absolve us of the responsibility to do a better job in creating a more appropriate climate on and off campus and of inculcating more appropriate behavior.
Irresponsible behavior, like we saw over the weekend and have seen on other occasions in the past, puts public safety at risk and tars an outstanding academic community with an unfortunate brush and cannot and will not be countenanced. Our dedicated and diligent students -- past, present and future -- deserve nothing less.
In the days and weeks ahead, we intend to work closely with Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, the outstanding leader of our flagship campus in Amherst, and others to shape plans for dealing with this issue in a fundamental way.
We believe that these issues should be examined in depth and that the actions of all parties - University, municipal, commercial and others - should be considered.
For reasons that are obvious and need not be enumerated, this is a situation that must be addressed -- and must and will be fixed.
Henry M. Thomas III, Chairman, University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees
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