Statement by Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings III

Dear Members of the Cornell Community:

Shortly before 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, August 28, several fights broke out at the intersection of College Avenue and Campus Road, culminating in the stabbing of two Ithaca College students, one of whom, tragically, has died. We offer our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased student, 19-year-old Anthony Nazaire of Brooklyn, NY. Our thoughts are also with the injured student, who has been released from the hospital.

These events occurred after a party at Willard Straight Hall sponsored by a Cornell fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. For several years the fraternity has hosted such an event during the first week of classes.

An investigation of these events is continuing, led by the Ithaca Police Department in coordination with other local law enforcement agencies, including the Cornell University Police Department. Officers are following up on leads.

I call on all members of the university community who have any information that would aid in the investigation to contact law enforcement officials. Of the many eyewitnesses, including those who may possess cell-phone videos, some have given testimony or provided videos while others have not. Anyone with relevant information should speak directly with the police or, if necessary, use the Ithaca Police anonymous tip line at 607-697-0333 or the Cornell Police Silent Witness. Doing so is a responsibility as well as a moral imperative for all members of our community.

The police do not believe there is any current threat to safety on campus. As always, the university will continue to evaluate safety and security on campus with a view to any possible improvements.

Again, on behalf of a Cornell community deeply shocked by this tragedy, I offer our sympathy to Mr. Nazaire's family and to the Ithaca College community.

Yours sincerely,

Hunter R. Rawlings III
Interim President