January 5, 2008

1536 Adventist News-Oakwood

Arrested Oakwood Students
Suspended for a Semester

capAll 16 students arrested during a clash with police at Oakwood University last month are suspended for the Spring 2008 semester, college officials said Wednesday.

The announcement came after the school's three-week internal investigation of a December 9 melee that left two city police officers injured.

"While the 16 students under question may apply for future entrance, all appeals are subject to institutional review," University President Delbert W. Baker said during a January 2 press conference.

The December 9 incident began when an off-duty officer arrested an 18-year-old woman for disorderly conduct after a basketball game and was driving her away in a patrol car. A crowd surrounded the car and became hostile, Huntsville Police said. "All such [violence is] unacceptable and will not be tolerated or condoned at Oakwood," Baker said during a December 11 press conference. University officials declined to answer further questions because of the ongoing police investigation.

Baker said educational and training opportunities will stem from the situation, including workshops on conflict and anger management. Surveillance cameras will also be installed in and around the gym where the incident occurred.

Baker expressed pride in the quality of Oakwood University students and confidence in Huntsville Police and campus public safety officers. In his statement, Baker said his prayers were with those involved in the incident.

Established in 1896, the school changed its name to Oakwood University from Oakwood College on January 1. The institution has more than 1,800 students.                                  --Ansel Oliver/ANN