Daily Collegian February ‘79
Pierpont break-up discussed;
no action planned
By DOROTHY A. CLARK and
CAROL ROSENBERG Collegian Staff
University administrators and the president of the Southwest Assembly Tuesday morning discussed an idea to break up and disperse the residents of Pierpont dormitory throughout the UMass residential system, but no plans have been made to act on that discussion.
In meetings of the Southwest Heads of Residence Tuesday afternoon, the dorm leaders voiced support of the idea.
Southwest Assembly President Richard LaVoice, who disagreed with the plan at Tuesday morning's meeting said, "The HR's are scared. They don't feel as if a staff member would be safe in the dorm. Their friend Tom was almost killed," he said.
"We focused on what we can do immediately to make the situation safe, and what we can do immediately to aid the investigation," Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dennis. L. Madson said.
The meeting was called Tuesday morning to discuss Pierpont security measures and media communication procedures after the Monday morning homicide attempt by arson on the life of 22-year-old Pierpont Head of Residence Thomas Whitford.
"There's a lot of resentment against Pierpont," LaVoice said, adding "I don't think that's the solution right now."
Madson said the idea was tabled because "the people at the meeting were not considering actions beyond ensuring the safety of the people of the dorm."
He added, however, he thought "some of the heads of residence were justifiably concerned."
Also in attendance at the UMass administration meeting Tuesday morning were Sally A. Freeman, Director of the Community Development Center, Director of Residential Resource Management Robert L. Campbell, New Bureau Director Arthur S. Clifford, Southwest Master-Director James Matlack, Acting Director of Security Gerald T. O'Neil, and Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Fredrick Preston.
LaVoice and Campbell reportedly voiced the only objections to the plan. "It's like punishing a whole dorm for something a sick person had done," LaVoice said.
"I'm trying to keep on top of things," LaVoice said, adding that he would call for an injunction in Hampshire County District Court to block such a plan, if there was serious intent by the administration to implement it.
LaVoice said he also suggested Pierpont become student-run for the remainder of the semester. "They can run it as well, if not better," he said.