John Carroll, director of Public Safety, told Fordham Daily students should reevaluate who their friends are after school officials reported that “two male blacks” had assaulted a Rose Hill student, who later described the men as acquaintances, in an off-campus apartment Wednesday.
“All of us, including our students, must consider who we have as friends or acquaintances,” Carroll said in an email to Fordham Daily.
The student was attacked in his apartment at 2486 Arthur Avenue — a Fordham housing building that shelters 34 students — on Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The student suffered several facial injuries and was treated at St. Barnabas Hospital.
The assailants were described in a school-wide security alert as “two male blacks,” upsetting students who found the description to be offensive. Many said they had expressed concern in emails to Public Safety, going so far as to call for a public apology.
The assailants are not believed to be Fordham students, sources said.
Carroll did not respond to a request for comment about why that specific language was chosen — but in the alert emailed to students, the description of the men is cited to the student who was attacked.
Bob Howe, a school spokesman who routinely proofreads alerts before they are distributed, apparently saw no problem with the description — and inadvertently sent two emails to the student body in the process. (One was a small correction to Carroll, and the other was an apology to someone who had mistakenly received the first email.)
On the Women’s Empowerment Facebook group:
Following the attack, the assailants fled Arthur Avenue in a black minivan, officials said.
Fordham Public Safety and NYPD responded, and waited 24 hours before alerting students to the incident so that law enforcement could conduct an investigation, Fordham officials said.