Message from President Barchi on Student Behavior

September 4, 2015

To the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Community:

The arrests yesterday of seven current Rutgers students for assault, robbery, and other charges are deeply troubling to everyone.  The alleged behavior is abhorrent and unacceptable anywhere; particularly so at Rutgers, where we place such a high value on personal integrity and respect for others.

Let me state the obvious: this behavior is not reflective of Rutgers or of the members of our academic community.  However, we must realize that these arrests have the potential to shape an image of the University that only we, together, can confront with a firm commitment to our highest values.

Our code of student conduct is fair and outlines expectations for what it means to be members of the Rutgers community.  It lays out guidelines for responsible behavior by students at Rutgers and we expect everyone to abide by it.  There are consequences for violations of the code, and these students are facing those consequences in addition to facing very serious criminal charges.

Five of these students were members of our football team, and they were immediately suspended from the athletic program at the time of their arrests. In addition, in accordance with university policy, the cases of all seven students have been reviewed by the Dean of Students and, as announced by Chancellor Edwards this morning, they have been placed on interim suspension from the University.  In accordance with our code of conduct, the students do retain the right to appeal our decision.  In the meantime, however, they will not be permitted to enter the Rutgers campus unless under supervision.

Rutgers is an outstanding academic institution whose students achieve remarkable success both during and beyond their years here. We work hard to create a rewarding experience for all our students, and fundamental to that experience is the right to feel safe and secure.  Every part of the Rutgers administration, including student affairs, public safety, and academic affairs, is committed to creating the best learning environment.  At the same time, we demand that our students behave with honesty and integrity, and that they exercise personal responsibility toward their fellow students, the greater community at Rutgers, and the world beyond our gates.


Robert Barchi