Inappropriate acts mar law school event

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November 4, 2011

2:29 AM

Behavior exhibited by a group of Marshall-Wythe School of Law students at an event Oct. 22 has caused another business to close its doors to future law school function.

The law school is on rocky terms with the Crowne Plaza Williamsburg at Fort Magruder after a drunken incident at the annual “Fall From Grace” formal.

The Student Bar Association — the law school’s student government, which hosted the event — sent an email to the law school student body Oct. 27 detailing the episode.

“While most students responsibly enjoyed the evening’s festivities, the behavior of some of our classmates at Saturday evening’s event was unacceptable,” the SBA email reads. “Among other things, students were discovered by hotel staff urinating on the bathroom floor, breaking a toilet paper dispenser, knocking over a flower pot, and engaging in inappropriate behavior in the hotel hallways and bathrooms.”

According to the email, many students arrived to the event intoxicated, and some had to be sent home by SBA members and hotel security for their behavior.

“On Monday morning, the Crowne Plaza called Dean [Davison] Douglas to inform him that the law school is no longer welcome at the hotel,” the SBA email said. “This is the third time over the past few years that the law school has been banned from a local facility and the second time in less than seven months.”

Douglas was not available for comment, but released a statement on the matter, stating that it was only a few students who caused most of the trouble.

“The problem at this most recent event at the Crowne Plaza centered primarily around the actions of two individuals,” he said. “Their behavior was completely unacceptable and not representative of our student body as a whole. I am working closely with the SBA, and with other law students, to rectify the situation and to prevent any future reoccurrence.”

College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley supported this claim.

“As best I understand the facts, the overwhelming bulk of the law students were behaving as they should, and they ultimately dealt with the problem —though not soon enough,” he said.

Although the Crowne Plaza has expressed its disapproval of the night’s events, the hotel is not banning the law school entirely.

“I do want to clarify one point,” Douglas wrote. “The Law School was not banned from holding events at the Crowne Plaza. Following this event, hotel management notified my office that they would not be renting banquet space again to the SBA in the near future.”

The SBA is taking efforts to repair its relationship with the hotel, including issuing a face-to-face apology and offering to pay for any damages.

To prevent further incidents, the SBA says that at future events, the group will change from an open bar to a cash bar and send home any students who appear to be intoxicated.

Brian Carrico J.D. ’14 did not attend the law school event, but was disappointed in it’s outcome nevertheless.
“I thought it was a little ridiculous,” he said. “I just feel like people should conduct themselves in a better manner when they’re out in the community as part of the law school.”

In regard to the SBA, Carrico thought it dealt with the incident appropriately.

“I thought the SBA handled it well,” he said. “Obviously I don’t know exactly what went on but they did send an email. I thought an apology to the hotel was the right way to go about it. They did receive appropriate punishment.”

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