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For immediate release
August 22, 2007
Contact: Julie Green Bataille
202-687-4328
jgb@georgetown.edu
Statement by Georgetown University Spokesperson Julie Green Bataille
Last May an individual alleged that he had been subjected to ethnic profiling and harassment on the basis of national origin by Georgetown University's Department of Public Safety during one of the commencement ceremonies on campus. Georgetown officials took these allegations very seriously and immediately began a review of the matter. The incident was fully investigated by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA), with input and cooperation from the complaining individual. IDEAA is the University office entrusted with responsibility for investigating and reviewing allegations of illegal harassment and discrimination.

The investigation determined that Georgetown University's Department of Public Safety officers responded in an appropriately calibrated way to reports from an audience member that an individual was behaving in a suspicious manner during the commencement ceremony on May 18. In response to that information, and given the heightened security status on campus at that time, officers responded by taking appropriate and necessary steps to engage and to request identification from the individual.  A combination of factors including the then recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, receipt of an anonymous threat of violence on Georgetown's campus 10 days earlier, and the presence of a foreign dignitary at the graduation ceremony contributed to increased event secuirty.   After the individual's student status was confirmed, he was permitted to return to his seat for the remainder of the ceremony. There was no finding of improper behavior or violation of University policy by the officers.

The investigation was completed and the investigative report was provided to the complainant in mid-July. At that time, senior University officials invited the complainant to meet with them to discuss the findings and any questions he may have. That invitation remains open.
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