Looking back at a crisis, one year later

November 2, 2007

One year later, few substantive changes have been made within the University in response to the controversial Halloween in the ‘Hood party.

“Many of my constituents are upset Justin Park is back on campus,” Black Student Union President Brenton Pennicooke said in reference to the ex-Sigma Chi brother who orchestrated the event.

“Some feel he got off too easy. We understand he didn't serve his full time, and some of us are upset.”

In December, Park's sentence was “substantially reduced” according to a press release by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which advocated for Park during his appeal to Dean of Student Life Susan Boswell.

“The University cannot comment on disciplinary action taken against a student, due to a federal privacy law,” University spokesman Dennis O'Shea said.

“Justin is no longer a part of Sigma Chi, and, out of respect for his wishes, we will not comment on his sentence,” said Patrick Connell, vice president of the

Hopkins chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Park was originally suspended until spring 2008, following a hearing before the Student Conduct Board last November.

The BSU was the first to protest the party and Sigma Chi, and brought the event to the media's attention. The Conduct Board called primarily on BSU members to testify.

“The BSU's goals were never punitive,” Pennicooke said. “We wanted [Park] to understand how his actions were offensive. Our goals have always been educational.”

The BSU urged the University to open discussions on racism between students and faculty. In September, the University hosted a forum with author Beverly Daniel Tatum. Incoming students were required to read Tatum's book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, to encourage a dialogue on racism...

Schools: Johns Hopkins University Cases: Johns Hopkins University: Student Punished for Party Invitation