After two students said they were arrested and assaulted by police on the Keene State College campus, President Melinda Treadwell said the school is bringing in help.
Treadwell said the school will create a position that reports directly to her office to identify what the school needs to do to counter biases on campus.
“Our associate vice president for diversity and inclusion, Dr. Dottie Morris, and I have agreed that a seasoned professional prepared to assess and direct improvements to our policies, communication, and investigation, be brought to the team for a term appointment as we assess needs for Title IX coordination and leadership,” treadwell said.
Ndeye Khady Badiane, 23, and Tyler Clavelle, 23, were both arrested at the school last March in an incident they say highlights the systemic racism at Keene State and in the Keene community. Faculty members have been circulating a letter calling on the college to back the two students and provide them with more services. The letter also calls on the school to address the biases that exist on campus.
“The time is now for the College to address the structural racism that exists in our society, and on our campus,” the letter states.
Badiane said in a statement she released last week that a school resident director and security officer escalated a report of marijuana smoking in the dorms into an incident that resulted in her and Clavelle being arrested by Keene police.
“At this point we are reaching out because Keene State College does not care about its black students and has made that very clear by still employing that campus safety officer and ghosting us,” Badiane wrote.
Badiane is charged with simple assault and resisting arrest, and Clavelle is charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespassing, according to court records. They have trials scheduled in the Keene District Court in the coming weeks.
Treadwell said the person serving in the new position will be tasked with identifying clear responsibilities and accountabilities for campus response to bias, harassment, or sexual violence reporting from faculty, staff, or students.
The school also plans to fully implement its de-escalation training with staff, and develop and implement a bias response protocol with staff.
The campus safety director will also look at the future structure of the campus safety team going forward, she said.