At the April 18 Council Meeting, President Judith Rodin made a statement regarding the campus turmoil prompted by the April 3 altercation at the Campus Copy Center (Almanac April 24). Then, last Monday, April 23, President Rodin and Provost Barchi issued the following statement in conjunction with the Penn Police Department's final report on the investigation of this incident.

From the President and Provost

Statement on Campus Copy Investigation Report

April 23, 2001

The past three weeks following the altercation at Campus Copy have been challenging for the Penn community. Issues of violence and race have been raised and debated, students have been active, and many voices have been heard. As troubling as these issues may be, however, the serious manner in which they have been taken up and examined has been very encouraging. We have begun to have conversations with members of our community on issues of great importance to all of us, and we intend to continue the dialogue.

Today the Division of Public Safety has issued the final report of its investigation of this incident. It confirms that Gregory Seaton's account of the incident, and the account of the Campus Copy witnesses, are irreconcilable, and there is not sufficient testimony or evidence from any other quarter to confirm one account over the other.

So it will be up to Mr. Seaton and Campus Copy to decide whether they will pursue further private legal action of any kind. We can only hope that, whatever decision they make, the "after-life" of this incident will not be prolonged.

This does not mean we should forget or push aside the issues that have been discussed so vigorously on campus. Everyone must enjoy respect and feel safe. We are personally committed, and the University must be committed, to ensuring that the Penn community is safe and welcoming-to everyone.

We do need to move ahead as a University community. To help us do that we will take the following steps. Many of these suggestions are a result of the conversations that have been held during these past three weeks:

  • The University will add additional Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) training for Resident Advisors and Graduate Advisors.
  • Penn will review New Student Orientation to ensure that its diversity initiatives are fresh and relevant to the needs of our community.
  • Penn's Division of Business Services will develop a code of conduct for vendors that clearly articulates the University's expectations of how they will behave towards customers.
  • Administrators will continue to hold regular, informal discussions with students to discuss and address concerns and issues related to diversity on campus.
  • Penn will continue to work with the Pluralism and other existing committees to continue to develop and implement suggestions that have been made by students and others in the campus community as a result of this incident.

 Judith Rodin, President Robert Barchi, Provost

University of Pennsylvania Police Department

Investigation of Disturbance at Campus Copy

Final Report

April 23, 2001

On April 3, 2001 at 4:25 pm, the University of Pennsylvania Police Department responded to a radio call regarding a disturbance at Campus Copy, a privately owned and operated business which is located at 3907 Walnut Street.

As a result of the initial investigation by the responding officers, it was determined that a disturbance had occurred before the arrival of the police involving a customer and store employee. Both asserted that the other had physically assaulted them. There was no evidence of any serious injury to either party, and further investigation by the responding officers properly concluded that, since no police officer personally witnessed the assaults and since the conduct appeared to constitute a simple assault, no arrests were permissible under Pennsylvania law. Both parties were accordingly advised, as Pennsylvania law provides, to seek Private Criminal Complaints through the Philadelphia District Attorney's office at 1421 Arch Street.

On April 7, 2001, Chief of Police Maureen Rush became aware of the e-mail in which Gregory Seaton, a University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. student, raised concerns about the treatment that he received at the hands of the staff of Campus Copy. Chief Rush immediately initiated a supplemental investigation of the incident that occurred at Campus Copy on the afternoon of April 3, 2001.

Between April 7, 2001 and April 18, 2001 the University of Pennsylvania Police Detective unit interviewed eighteen (18) individuals-specifically, three Penn Police officers, four UCD Safety Ambassadors, one Allied-SpectaGuard security officer, one University of Pennsylvania professor, seven Campus Copy employees and the two complainants. None of the Police, UCD Safety Ambassadors or the Allied-SpectaGuard Officer witnessed the altercation; all arrived after the event in response to the radio call.

As a result of these interviews, the final determination of this investigation shows that each complainant believes the other party assaulted him first. Since the University of Pennsylvania Police officers did not personally witness the assaults, and there were no substantial physical injuries to either party or evidence of intent to cause serious bodily injury, both complainants were advised, in accordance with the Pennsylvania law regarding simple assault, to seek further resolution through the Philadelphia District Attorney's Private Criminal Complaint process.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 32, May 1, 2001