The body of the mutilated cat found at the door of Sigma Chi Dec. 2 was first passed among several Fraternity Quad houses, Director of UR security Walter Mauldin said.

Disciplinary Action

Three fraternities were placed on summary disciplinary probation following the incident, according to administrators.

Sources close to the investigation have named SC, Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Kappa Epsilon as the three fraternities on probation.

“Essentially, summary disciplinary probation is an action in place for certain situations,” Associate Dean of Students Kenneth Rockensies in charge of discipline said. “It basically puts a hold on things until the situation is resolved.”

“Most schools have a similar policy in place,” Rockensies added.

Incident

An anonymous phone call was placed on the morning of Dec. 2, informing UR security that a mutilated cat was found hanging in a bag on SC’s door.

“We know that the cat was moved from more than one location, and we know things happened to it before and after it died,” Mauldin said. “During the investigation, we got a sense that some things were a result of handling afterwards, although we also had some evidence of things happening before.”

The reward for information leading to arrest is $5,000, and UR Security, the Rochester Police Department, as well as the Humane Society are all investigating this incident.

Informing the campus

Twelve days after the incident, on Dec. 14, UR Security posted a Security Update around campus.

“We decided to put out a security bulletin out on the because presence on campus was becoming fewer and fewer, and we were afraid that the community bulletins wouldn’t draw attention,” Mauldin said. “Our heart was in the right place, but, in hindsight, we wish could have put it out a day or two earlier.”

During the week of Jan. 20, Interim Dean of Students Jody Asbury sent out a letter to the university community. In the letter she made “an appeal to all students, faculty and staff to join with concerned members of our community on and off campus in bringing this matter to an end.”

“I feel good about the letter. I’ve been getting some direct e-mails,” Asbury said. “I feel that the response has been helpful, but there need to be other actions.”

On Jan 29, Dean of The College William Green and Asbury posted a memorandum, along with a letter from President Thomas Jackson.

In the letter, Jackson said, “As a university community, we expect no less than full and complete cooperation with the investigation.”

He continued, “It is intolerable to our values as an academic institution committed to reason, truth, and community values, to mislead or to evade on a matter such as this.”

In the memorandum from Green and Asbury, it reads, “It is vital that all members of the university community cooperate with this effort. No institution of learning can tolerate?or appear to tolerate? subcultures of deceit or conspiracies of silence.”

Fraternity President’s Council chairman junior Matt Davison said that he understands the importance of cooperating with the investigation. “All the houses on the Quad are under investigation, and will cooperate with it, including the Drama House and the Community Living Center,” he said.

A new decision was also made in the letter. Green said, “If fraternities do not cooperate with security, they will not be able to have new residents living in their houses next year.”

Jackson met with Dean Green, Dean Asbury, Dean LeBlanc and the leader on the Fraternity Quad, and came to this decision.

Jackson emphasized the importance of the decision. “This is perfectly appropriate action, given the stakes in this matter,” he said.

Green agreed. “We made this decision because we needed a new uniform response,” he said. “Some groups have been really helpful as a result of this.”

“If people think this is an attack on fraternities, it is most certainly not,” Green added.

Student reaction

Senior and Residental Adviser Beth Manbeck said the administration is doing what it can. “It’s out of their power if people are going to come forward,” she said.

Some students were surprised that the investigation is still going on. “I’m surprised to see it continue into this semester,” junior Matt Hall said.

Freshman Emily Feldman found out by reading a flyer in the bathroom. “This is disgusting, and hopefully, they’ll find the person or persons that did this,” she said.

Junior Ahlea Howard was also disgusted. “Not only are we a racist, rich, apathetic school, but we’re cruel to animals,” she said.

When asked as to what her reaction would be if she discovered who mutilated the cat, Howard said, “I’d rip their balls off myself.”

Ongoing investigation

The administration is optimistic that students will come forward. “We are committed to seeing this through to the end, as are the investigative teams involved,” Asbury said.

Investigators are committed to solving the case. “There are still things that need to be pinned down, but we’ll be working on this for as long as it takes to find the truth,” Mauldin said.

Green also feels the need to solve this case. “This is the uninvited guest at every meal,” he said. “Until we solve it, it will always be there.”

“When this issue is resolved, I think we will have to heal on this issue as a community,” Mauldin said. “This is my home, too.”

Additional reporting by Todd Hildebrandt and Beth Haber.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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