University leaders said eight arrests were made in relation to a fight on campus Sunday.
Todd Sigler, director of SIU Department of Public Safety, said police responded to the fight outside of Schneider Hall around 4:45 p.m. Sunday, and arrests were made later that evening. A video of the incident shared on social media websites shows people fighting until an officer approached the scene and broke up the fight using a taser. Sigler said the officer used the taser after advising the subjects to stop fighting.
While eight arrests have been made, more are pending, said Rod Sievers, university spokesman.
“I think this was a pretty visible fight,” he said. “It was outside with people around … I would classify this as an isolated incident that just happened to be captured on somebody’s cell phone.”
Sigler said he thinks the fight started as a result of an ongoing dispute. He said a taser was used under grounds of use of force.
He said such events such as this do not happen often.
“As long as the students aren’t involved in the conflict and stay clear, they should be OK,” he said. “Fights unfortunately occur, but I do not see something similar happening anytime soon.”
Sievers also said he does not think the incident should cause students to worry.
“One fight has taken place, and I don’t think students need to worry so much about it as long as they’re not involved in that kind of behavior,” he said. “The people who were involved are subject to being expelled from the university and kicked off campus. Our students who come here are expected to follow a certain level of behavior, and those who don’t will be asked to leave.”
Sievers said the students’ disciplinary hearings have not been set yet.
“This is not a rampant issue going around on campus,” Sievers said. “I really believe this is an isolated incident. Hopefully we won’t see anymore of this kind of behavior, but I don’t know what started it.”
Peter Gitau, associate vice chancellor for student life and intercultural relations, said Monday that the office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will handle the situation in relation to the code of conduct. He said although there were a number of arrests as a result of the incident, those students won’t necessarily be the only ones disciplined.
“We don’t go by the students that are arrested,” he said. “We look at those who were involved.”
Gitau said any student can file a report with the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which will investigate the reports. He said students are considered for disciplinary action if there is reason to believe they were directly involved with an incident.
Some students who reside near the fight’s location said they did not feel unsafe because the incident was isolated but still had opinions of the fight.
“I feel like college is a place to learn, not fight,” said Triana Page, a freshman from Chicago studying radio-television. “They should not have been doing that here.”
Breanna Humphrey, a freshmen from Chicago studying radio-television, said she does not think every student involved should be subject to all stages of the disciplinary process.
“Not all of them should be punished,” she said. “I think they should serve consequences but not get suspended.”
Warning: this video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing