Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Approves Shick Resolution

Urges Disclosure of GU’s Summer Discipline Hearing

By Anne Rittman Hoya Staff Writer

GUSA passed a resolution Tuesday calling for the university to disclose the findings of the early August hearings regarding junior David Shick’s Feb. 18 death. The university declined to release its findings of the hearings, including the names of those disciplined and whether any actions were taken against them.

“We want the univesity to tell the Shick family the results of the hearings,” said Jamal Epps (COL ’01), senior GUSA Representative. “They should tell them the names of the students involved, and also the results – whether they were excused or punished. This is only proper and right.”

“We want the university to tell the Georgetown community what is going on. We’re not asking for names to be released, but the community has a right to know what the repercussions are for certain actions,” Epps said. “The university has called this an ‘educational’ experience, but if they really want to educate the community they should tell us what the repercussions are.”

GUSA’s resolution also calls for a complete and comprehensive overview of the disclosure policy. According to Epps, the university’s decision not to release the findings was backed by a university policy which was not included in the 1999-2000 Student Code of Conduct.

“The federal government has recognized the need for information, both for students and parents,” Deborah Shick, David’s mother said. “The law has been changed to allow disclosure. I don’t understand why the university is waiting so long to bring policies in line with the right thing to do,” Epps said.

“Because this is not in the Code of Conduct for the 1999-2000 school year, we need to know what happened. Also, since the policy is in the Code for the 2000-2001 school year, we need to know why no one was told about the change. We’re not pointing fingers, we just need to know how this came about.”

The resolution was designed to tell the university that the student body wants to know what repercussions result from acts of violence, and to prompt the administration to reexamine policies held in the Student Code of Conduct, according to Epps. “We as students are bound by what is in the Code of Conduct. It’s a contract we have with the university,” he said.

“I’m really glad that GUSA passed this resolution,” Mrs. Shick said. “I feel this type of information must be made available to families in situations like this. Students also need to know the information without names. They need to see that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, no matter who you are. Students need to see the Code of Conduct enforced, not just as a document.”

The resolution will allow GUSA to solicit signatures on a petition early next week. According to Epps, GUSA representatives will visit dorm rooms and apartments today and Monday to talk to students and solicit signatures. GUSA will also upload information about the resolution and the case onto their Web site, www.gusaweb.org.

Following a fight between two groups of students, both of whom were returning from Champions, a bar on Wisconsin Avenue Shick was punched, fell and hit his head. Both parties were drinking prior to the fight. Shick died four days later at Georgetown University edical Center. The death was ruled a homicide by the district medical examiner.

Because the Justice Department policy dictates that indictments be pursued only when there is a strong likelihood of conviction, U.S. Attorney Wilma A. Lewis decided not to press charges against the accused students. In June, Lewis hinted that Shick’s role in the fight may have precluded such a conviction.

In July, the university concluded its disciplinary hearing of the students involved in the fight. After the hearing’s conclusion, the university refused to disclose the results, citing the privacy protections outlined by the Student Code of Conduct. The university also refused to disclose the results of the hearing to Shick’s parents unless they signed a non-disclosure agreement which would preclude them from telling David’s siblings.

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