Students involved in the riots that occurred over the weekend could face a stiff penalty for their involvement.
CSU announced Monday that a zero-tolerance policy would be in effect for students involved in riots.
“This sort of behavior will not be tolerated at Colorado State on or off our campus, and any student involved will face severe consequences, including dismissal from the university,” said CSU President Larry Penley in a news release. “The faculty, staff, administration and the vast majority of our 25,000 students together deplore this irresponsible behavior. Simply put, there is no room in our community for anyone who acts this way, and they are not welcome here.”
Police dispersed large crowds Friday and Saturday nights after calls came in that the crowds were getting out of control. Friday night’s riot occurred on the 600 block of South Howes Street, and Saturday night’s riot occurred at the intersection of Plum and Bluebell streets.
According to Linda Kuk, vice president for student affairs, students involved in the riots that occurred over the weekend face dismissal from the university regardless of any action taken by Fort Collins Police Services or the Larimer County district attorney.
Fort Collins police arrested five students thought to be involved in the riots over the weekend. Those found to be students would face disciplinary action this week that could result in suspension and/or expulsion from the university. A university judicial hearing will take place later this week.
The university plans on working more closely with Fort Collins city officials and police to prevent future incidents, according to a university press release.
Jennifer Johnson, community liaison coordinator for CSU and Fort Collins, sees the issue as an entire-community issue.
“First and foremost the city and university are partners in this,” Johnson said, explaining that both communities are working together to identify riot participants. “The university recognizes that they have a responsibility to students off campus.”
The university’s administration is sending information to students that warns of severe consequences for rioting. Tom Milligan, assistant vice president for University Relations, said bystanders also need to take these warnings seriously and that they could also face disciplinary action.
“We understand that a vast majority of students weren’t involved,” Milligan said. “These events don’t accurately reflect most of the students, but these events do damage the reputation of our students.”
The five students who were arrested have not been convicted with a crime. CSU sophomores Sean Kleker, a construction management major, and Kyle Morse, an open-option seeking business major, and junior speech communications major David Griek were arrested early Saturday morning in connection with the Howes Street riot.
Sophomores Nicholas Lofaro, an English major, and Christopher Picardi, an open-option seeking business major, were arrested early Sunday morning in connection with the Bluebell Street riot. It is unclear if any of these students will face disciplinary action.
The Larimer County Detention Center stated that none of the arrested students remain in custody. According to Rita Davis, public information officer for FCPS, reports of students using homemade bombs containing nails were untrue. Davis said that a police officer thought he saw a Molotov cocktail thrown, but it did not ignite.
Davis said she did not think the riot on Bluebell Street was a reaction to the Howes Street riot. Davis said police only used gas and pepper balls to break up the riot that occurred on Howes Street. She said other devices might have been used to break up the Bluebell Street riot.
No information has been released about the male who was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital after being injured during the riot Sunday morning.
According to Milligan, the investigation is ongoing and more students may face disciplinary action. He also said that whatever action the university takes would be independent of the actions taken by the police and district attorney.
“There will be swift and severe consequences,” Milligan said.