Don’t withhold information

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It’s been about three weeks, and information still has not been released to the public about a verbal altercation involving four to 15 students Sept. 26 on the first floor of Oppenheimer Academic Center.

Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of student affairs and interim vice president of academic affairs, said that two students have been given “interim disciplinary action.”

Vela said more individuals could receive disciplinary action pending the outcome of the investigation that was expected to take a week.

A statement released Sept. 27 by President Robert Zeigler to students and employees by email was just as vague.

College officials and the Alamo Colleges Police Department are not serving the public by keeping quiet.

Vela said he has not received a police report and is waiting for the department of public safety to finish its investigation.

Since the news on the altercation was printed online the day of the incident and in the Oct. 1 print edition of The Ranger, a letter to the editor, news tips submitted online and phone calls to the newsroom have been received from readers wanting to know more.

Some are curious, some are worried and at least one wonders if an incident occurred at all.

Questions abound because officials haven’t given any answers.

Thousands of students attend classes, work in labs and visit faculty offices in Oppenheimer everyday.

Should the public be worried?

Are there areas of the building that are not safe?

The incident was considered serious enough for an estimated 10 police officers, including Chief Don Adams, as well as Vela and Manuel Flores, student conduct officer, to respond.

Officials began the investigation at the scene when they separated participants or presumed participants for questioning.

College officials have a responsibility to the public to be forthcoming about this incident and its aftermath.

The public deserves to know exactly what happened and what is being done about it.

If officials over-reacted and there’s nothing to follow up on, then that should be reported, too.

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