Rally at UMES protests arrests of two students

November 22, 1996|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

PRINCESS ANNE -- About three dozen students at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore gathered at the university's main entrance yesterday to protest their dormitory conditions and the arrest of the student government president last week.

Holding hand-lettered signs of protest, the students huddled in cold rain, chanting "1-800-SET US FREE" at passing cars.

Among the student concerns that prompted the rally were concerns that the college water isn't clean, complaints about a dormitory telephone system that charges $1 for toll-free calls and anger that student government President Trevlyn C. Otts and Loretta Lancaster had been suspended.

Otts and Lancaster, both seniors active in the Student Government Association, were arrested Nov. 13 and each was charged with one count of felony conspiracy to commit theft. They are accused of defrauding the student association of more than $12,000.

"We want our concerns addressed and our president back," said April Richardson, junior class president and a member of the Student Government Association.

Richardson and others said that a meeting held before the rally with UMES President William P. Hytche had addressed many of the students' concerns. Richardson described the student rally as more of a "celebration."

But the students said they still are upset about the suspension of Otts and Lancaster.

"It couldn't have happened," Richardson said. "We have too many administrators signing off on these documents. A lot of students think there is more to the story."

Both students have been suspended pending a campus judicial review Dec. 3. The arrests came after an audit by the university system, and the results have not been released because it is not complete, Hytche said.

Meanwhile, Hytche said that the university would re-evaluate the telephone system. As for the water, he said, it is city water from Princess Anne, and it is clean.

Pub Date: 11/22/96

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