A letter from President Mark Anarumo to the Norwich University alumni, students, parents and families directly addressed recent incidences alleging hazing.  The letter is printed in its entirety below.
To Norwich Alumni, Students, Parents and Families:
Over the past few weeks you have likely heard of a student misconduct incident on the Norwich campus and resulting attention from local law enforcement. In response to the complaint, the University conducted both an internal conduct investigation and an administrative investigation by a third party, while the Northfield Police Department conducted a criminal investigation.
All three investigations have now concluded and this summary update can be provided to our University community.
At the core of the incident is an accusation of hazing. Let me state clearly that hazing runs contrary to the Guiding Values of our University and is an insult to the dignity of individuals who attend this school for its positive and transformational experience.
Individuals or groups that participate or condone hazing have no place in our campus community and are not welcome here.
The investigations have indicated that the alleged victims and perpetrators in this case acted consensually; however, the legal statute is clear that when an individual consents or even requests to participate in an act with friends and teammates, the incident may still be categorized as hazing.
We took the initial accusation seriously despite early statements implying full consent of participants and have conducted very thorough investigations. Other accusations related to the incident, including a claim that an intruder entered a resident’s room through a window, and a related use of a knife, were unsubstantiated.
After the initial report we immediately took action and have continued to address all student misconduct. Following the alleged incident, one student suspected of behavior inconsistent with our values withdrew from the University. Five additional students who were alleged to be involved were immediately suspended from representing the University in athletic competition, suspensions that continue to be in place.
Now that the investigations have concluded, we will begin the process of internal actions to include University-level sanctions and evaluation of student behavior and statements through our established discipline and honor board processes.
Student misconduct is being addressed; however, disclosure of further details is limited by University policies and federal law that protect the privacy of student records.
We have also spent a significant amount of time over the past few weeks reinforcing very clear expectations of student conduct on our athletic teams. Each coach has spoken with their athletes, and our new Director of Athletics met with all teams to share his expectations and his commitment to holding student athletes and coaches accountable for any behavior inconsistent with our University values.
Additionally, all students arriving for the fall 2022 semester, whether returning or new to campus, will receive training focused on student conduct, hazing, and systems for reporting behavior inconsistent with our University values.
Regarding the women’s rugby team specifically, since the alleged incident occurred among a very small number of student athletes, some of whom were not actively competing, I personally addressed the women’s rugby team accompanied by their coach, our incoming and outgoing Directors of Athletics, and our Vice President of DEI, to express our support to their team and our expectation that they engage honorably and honestly with any investigators if questioned.
We also ensured the student athletes were fully aware of counseling services and confirmed they knew how to access our support systems during a time of significant stress and negative attention.
Finally, as a result of the criminal investigation, on Friday, April 22, six student athletes were issued tickets for “civil hazing” by law enforcement authorities. Three of these students received additional citations into Washington Superior Court. Norwich University fully cooperated with the local police department during the course of their investigation up to and including the issuance of these citations, while preserving the rights of our students and the integrity of the investigations.
Comments or insinuations that this was not the case do not reflect the true nature or extent of our full cooperation.
I sincerely appreciate the patience and support of our University community as we awaited the conclusion of all investigations surrounding this matter. It would have been inappropriate and detrimental to the investigations for us to comment until all investigative activities concluded.
We now look forward to applying lessons learned from this incident to further elevate our student experience for the development of future leaders of character for our nation and the world.
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark Anarumo signature
Dr. Mark Anarumo
Colonel, USAF (Ret)