By Laura Stewart
Two students were injured outside the Student Center Saturday when a verbal altercation between SUNY Canton and SLU students turned physical.
According to Pat Gagnon, Director of Safety and Security, both the Canton police department and St. Lawrence Sheriff’s department responded to emergency calls to disperse a crowd of 200 people from Park Street shortly after midnight. The exchange outside the bookstore would be one of four fights Campus Safety would respond to that night.
The fights began when several SUNY Canton students remained on campus after attending the HOPEfully United Weekend event earlier that day. One event involved two male and female students who engaged in a verbal exchange with two SUNY Canton students located outside the Student Center. The verbal altercation then turned physical when a SUNY Canton student attacked a SLU student, knocking him off his feet. The attacking student then proceeded to kick and punch the student repeatedly in the head.
The fight continued until the attacked student’s roommate called for help. Once the SUNY Canton student saw the phone, he ran and punched the roommate in the face. He then threw a chair in the SLU students’ direction and fled on foot. Campus safety and security arrived at the scene immediately.
“The students sustained minor injuries,” Gagnon said. “Just some minor bumps and bruises. Neither party has chosen to file charges with the police.”
Gagnon went on to say that the most significant issue of the night was that security was unaware there would be such a large number of SUNY Canton guests attending the event. Security did not have the staffing to monitor both SLU student emergencies and those involving students from another campus. “More SUNY Canton students were invited to the event than probably should have been,” Gagnon said.
Despite these events, the HOPEfully United Weekend was deemed a success after raising over $3,000 for the Pembroke Hall Primary School in Jamaica. The funds will go towards providing children with the basic food and school supplies necessary for an environment conducive to learning.