FAU Opens Investigation On Student Claiming to Have Been Struck By University President
FAU's Division of Student Affairs has opened a student conduct investigation against Stop Owlcatraz, the student protesters who spoke out against the university's decision to name their stadium after private prison operator GEO Group.
Britni Hiatt, who was a part of Stop Owlcatraz, claimed that on March 22, FAU President Jane Saunders clipped the student with her 2011 Lexus GS as she drove out of a campus parking lot during a protest.
The university's online magazine, University Press, held a video interview with Saunders where she addressed the incident and the accusations that she "hit" student protesters with her car and failed to stop.
Saunders tells University Press that she thinks the student protesters owe her an apology.
"I think yes, I think the [the student protesters] over-reacted and they got caught up in the excitement of the moment," Saunders says. "And did things that were not, actually, legal."
Hiatt's response to Saunders' call for an apology: "For her to say that I owe her an apology is ... very offensive, and confusing for me," she said.
FAU police said that it was Haitt that caused the accident, stating that the student "intentionally stood near a vehicle that was leaving a parking space, which resulted in her being brushed by the right side mirror."
Hiatt had described her treatment by campus police as "victim blaming."
Meanwhile, University Press reports that Dr. Corey King, Dean of Student Affairs, spoke with Hiatt and told her that the investigation is "routine."
"Dr. King assured me there was nothing to worry about," Hiatt said.
The incident now has three separate on-going investigations, with the State's Attorney's Office, FAU campus police and Division of Student Affairs all in the fray, trying to figure out what exactly happened and who is to blame.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.