Freshmen at University of Hartford Faces Charges of Intimidation Based on Bigotry

Brianna Brochu's mugshot. Source: Abc News
Brianna Brochu’s mugshot. Source: ABC News

Brianna Brochu, a student at the University of Hartford, faces charges of intimidation based on bigotry and bias and is expelled from the institution. Brochu harassed her roommate Channel “Jazzy” Rowe in various ways, and then posted it to social media.

When Rowe gained knowledge of what was happening, she posted a video to social media explaining her account of the situation. In the video, she told viewers that a friend notified her of what Brochu posted to Instagram about the harassment. Rowe read the spelled out harassment executed by Brochu: “Finally did it. Yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotion and rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush in places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.” Rowe continued, “This is the paragraph that she posted on her Instagram, and then she posted pictures of what she has been doing to me.”

She then showed viewers a picture that Brochu posted with period blood placed on Rowe’s backpack. She told viewers that she had been sleeping next to the bag, and that the blood stain she was unaware of was always close to her face.

Once she figured all of this out, Rowe was already moved out of the room with the perpetrator of the crimes. According to her, she signed a no contact contract with residence at the University of Hartford. In addition, she told viewers that the residence life office threatened to have her removed from campus if she talked about the roommate issues. She believed that the no contact contract and residence life current requests did not correlate.

“My thing is that I don’t want to be another statistic where things happen and they just brush it under the rug, and they don’t take care of it at all,” Rowe passionately said. Rowe, a person of African descent, believed if the roles were switched with her white roommate the situation would have been handled better.

After the situation caught national attention, due to social media, the University of Hartford tweeted an update. However, many people did not see this as good enough.

Without the attention from social media, it seems like the institution would not have taken heed to the situation. Rowe’s discomfort prior to the figuring out about the harassment should have been enough for the University to take actions. If a student wants to move out of a housing situation, it is most likely due to an unhealthy living dynamic. How do universities expect students to excel in toxic living environments?

Race definitely plays a significant part in this situation. Predominately white institutions can not “pretend to not see color.” It is understandable that administrations of these institutions want to view their students for their redeeming characteristics and not their biological differences. However, race is a big thing, especially in America with the country’s long history. Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) need to address the problems head on and should strive to orchestrate events to highlight these things.

When a situation like this happens, the student affected should be the school’s number one priority. It does not seem as if Rowe was in fact given the care she needed. This situation was traumatic, and it could possibly leave the victim with mental health problems. There is no time to waste in incidents similar to this one. The school’s public relations and image should take a backseat to the student’s well being.

A hashtag has been surfacing around social media called “Justice for Jazzy.”

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