Maple Hall bias incident prompts investigation


Megan Julian

The university is investigating allegations of a bias incident, noise and vandalism that occurred in Maple Hall Unit 8 during the early morning hours of Feb. 28.

Rachel Dvareckas, Managing Editor

Content Warning: This article contains information regarding a disturbing bias incident that occurred in a residence hall on campus.

The university is investigating allegations of a bias incident, noise and vandalism that occurred the morning of Feb. 28, including witness observations of two male RWU students who charcoaled their faces in blackface.

Roger Williams University President Ioannis Miaoulis and Vice President of Student Life John King announced news of the investigation via all-student email on March 1. The university received notice late last night of the alleged incident that occurred in Maple Hall Unit 8.

Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, Public Safety and the Bias Response Team are investigating the allegations.

“We want to ensure the university community that a full investigation is underway and the information obtained will inform appropriate charges and response through the Student Conduct system,” Miaoulis and King wrote in the email.

In the email, Miaoulis denounced the incident on behalf of the university.

“As a community committed to civility and respect for each other, we fully condemn such racist acts and will act swiftly on reports of any such incidents that occur in our community,” Miaoulis wrote.

Miaoulis and King attended Monday night’s Student Senate meeting where they restated similar sentiments.

“This is totally not what Roger Williams is about,” Miaoulis said. “This is horrible. This is not freedom of expression. It is not freedom of speech.”

“It’s very disturbing. There is no excuse for this type of behavior,” King said. “There is no rationalization possible and we will proceed with that in mind, but we also want to be fair and have a just process.”

King said the residents affected by this incident were notified before they sent out the all-student email and added that they have been in contact with their Community Director Lakeya Almeida and Assistant Dean of Student Life Abbas Hill for support during this time.

“We are grateful to the students that came forward and made us aware of this particular situation,” King said.

Students with any information on the incident are encouraged to contact the Bias Response Team and submit a confidential report. More updates on this story to follow.


Director of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Zoila Quezada | Contact [email protected] for support and additional resources

Counseling Center: (401) 254-3124

Student Life: [email protected]