As the investigations into the riotous acts of Oct. 17 through Oct. 19 continue, the number of identifications of those involved also continue to rise.

KSC student Steven Urquhart said he was watching a video of the riots on YouTube when he recognized a face. He then sent the link of the video to campus safety to help with the investigation. Urquhart’s email to campus safety was attached to the report, and sent to the suspect. “This was before all the photos were released on their website. I found a video on YouTube and identified the person and submitted it. That report was then forwarded to the person I identified with my name attached to it,” Urquhart explained.

“The person who sent the email was Matthew Salter, the director of Student Conduct. He told me he was unable to edit the reports that come from campus safety,” Urquhart added.

Salter did not respond to The Equinox’s interview request.

Philip Bergeron / Graphic Design Editor

Philip Bergeron / Graphic Design Editor

Urquhart continued, “They [campus safety] said that since I did not submit via the Silent Witness program they have the right to release my name. I don’t see how that accomplishes anything except putting people in potential danger. It makes me wonder how many other people’s names were released and they don’t even know their names were released.”

“I wish that campus safety would at least notify the people that their names are being released, apparently you have to state that you want to remain anonymous,” Urquhart said.

KSC Dean of Students Gail Zimmerman could not speak to specific cases, but she did explain the policies that govern the investigation process. “No system is perfect, but our goal is to support students in the best way possible,” Zimmerman stated.

Zimmerman said, “There is not a guarantee that a report would be anonymous but we do try to respect that when a student asks for that.” She cited reasons such as using the student being a witness to the reported incident.

Zimmerman continued, “We do try to respect the privacy of individuals. There are definitely reasons why a name might not be included in a report and there are reasons why a name might be included in a report. it depends on the specific circumstances.”

“When students request anonymity that is considered, and then we have to make a judgement as to whether or not it can be granted in a particular case,” Zimmerman explained.

“There is always the Silent Witness program, and that is a place to anonymously report an incident,”  Zimmerman added.

“We try to respect what the student is requesting but there are legal reasons why sometimes we can’t, there are practical reasons why sometimes we can’t,” Zimmerman continued, “It depends and I know that is a hard answer. I can assure students that we do try to respect when possible a student’s request for anonymity in the process. That is not always possible.”

“There are occasions where we will redact information from a report that is being used. In this case that determination would have been made at the campus safety point. Student conduct would not necessarily know if the student had requested anonymity,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman added that student conduct is able to redact names also.

Zimmerman said that if students are concerned, she is open to conversation about the process and how their information is likely to be used.

The Equinox attempted to contact campus safety at 12:31 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 and did not receive a response until 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 9, roughly 26 hours later.

Assistant Director of Campus Safety Leonard Crossman explained that their investigations must conform to due process laws. Crossman also stated they are a “neutral party” in an investigation  and by avoiding redacting the student’s name gives the accused an opportunity to “question the source.”

“The way we conduct investigations and the way the college conducts hearings falls right along the due process laws that which are protected in The Constitution. It is handled very similarly to the way a law enforcement or court system would operate,” Crossman explained.

Crossman explained this is to maintain fairness for both parties.  “Not only do we try to protect the interest of the person providing the information so that they don’t get put in an awkward situation, but at the same time we have to assure that the person who is subject to potential sanctions or even criminal prosecution will be able to have a fair hearing,” Crossman stated.

Crossman said that the system assumes the accusing party is willing to have their name associated with the statement, unless the Silent Witness system is used.

A recent statement from Keene State College President Anne Huot stated, “A total of 170 Keene State students have been found accountable. The allegations range from guest and alcohol policy violations to disorderly and disruptive behavior.” The statement added that the investigation into violations of the Student Code of Conduct have also, “exonerated some students against whom violations were alleged.”

Punitive actions by the college include probation, fines, suspensions and expulsions. KSC Campus Safety has also been working with city and state law enforcement to identify as many people involved in the riots as possible. To date, 16 arrests have been made via these identifications, eight being KSC students.

David Walsh can be contacted at

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