BY COLE McNANNA // Feb. 16, 2018 //
Sophomore Psychology major, Michela Flowers, the subject of some of the first hate crimes reported on campus, was removed from campus Thursday following an expression of her frustration.
Ever since a note was left on her car, Flowers had been meeting with Student Affairs, Public Safety as well as the Diversity Coordinator in order to create change on campus. However, with not much change to show, Flowers was losing hope in those in charge of the school.
One of the movements Flowers was trying to push was a more lenient parking policy, citing she felt unsafe walking the campus after already being the target of a hate crime.
She mentioned that Thursday, she was running late to class after being in Health Services dealing with a stomach bug. Flowers said the Mayflower lot was closed off to those without a pass and she ended up parking in the Public Safety parking lot, earning her a $50 fine when she got out of class.
“I came back from class with a ticket. I got in my car, with all my windows down, and played ‘F— The Police,’” Flowers stated.
She explained that Director of Public Safety, Paul King, came outside and pointed over his shoulder, meaning to keep it down for the neighbors.
“So I turned up my music,” said Flowers. “He mocked me before I rolled up my window, so I played the music louder.”
After that, she left to go back to her room before having to come back for another class later on. She again pulled into the PS parking lot, playing the same song. However, as she turned out of 940 Brush Hill Road, a Milton Police Officer pulled her over, handing her a $55 noise complaint ticket.
In addition, he informed Michela that she was to leave campus and not return until the Student Conduct Office got in touch with her to schedule a meeting.
Chief King confirmed the events but was unable to delve deeper into details due to the case’s open nature.
Flowers ended up staying the night at a friend’s house in nearby Taunton before receiving a phone call from Director of Student Conduct, Melissa DeGrandis, confirming her Tuesday afternoon meeting.
However, before that meeting in four days, Flowers was on the schedule at her off-campus job in Westwood which she will be unable to attend since the necessary belongings are still in her room.
“It’s like the system doesn’t care that these are real people with real-life situations,” Flowers noted.
The news was first reported on Facebook, with senior Samuel Piscitelli posting a message compiled by student activists with whom Michela was working with to create change.
Piscitelli mentioned that the group had been growing as more and more found out about what happened.
That was put on display by the amount of re-posts and shares that the note got across social media platforms.
This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.