Tire-slasher comes forward

A Williams student has come forward to the Dean’s Office and the Williams Police Department (WPD) as the person responsible for the Sept. 14 slashing of a WPD cruiser’s tire, according to Dean Merrill. She said that the student came to her office last Wednesday and had spoken with the WPD just prior to that. Because the case involves College disciplinary proceedings, Merrill would not disclose the student’s name.

“There could be cases where we would report a student’s name if that name became public knowledge for a particularly egregious action,” Merrill said. “But in the vast majority of cases, we keep names confidential when a student is involved in disciplinary action.”

Since the incident, Campus Safety and Security has been working in conjunction with the WPD on the investigation. “Approximately six to ten students were interviewed in this office,” said Jean Thorndike, director of Security.

WPD Chief Kyle Johnson could not be reached for comment. No member of the WPD is authorized to speak in his absence.

Although the tire-slashing occurred off-campus, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action in any case that violates community standards, according to Merrill.

However, she said that the College will wait until disciplinary proceedings through the WPD and the court are finalized before the Dean’s Office takes independent disciplinary action.

“Our standard procedure has become like many colleges and universities: when a student’s behavior becomes involved in the proceedings of the police and courts, we hold off on taking disciplinary action until that’s done,” Merrill said. “If the student poses a risk or engages in a really egregious behavior, we have the power to impose an interim suspension where we send that student away from campus and do a formal disciplinary proceeding later.”

“This is not one of those cases,” she added. “We are not concerned about this student posing a risk.”

Until disciplinary proceedings reach a conclusion with the WPD, the Dean’s Office will “engage in regular conversation with the student about the student’s behavior.”