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Documents: Babson College used hearsay to condemn pro-Trump students for ‘victory lap’

In the immediate post-election trauma suffered by the anti-Trump/pro-Hillary Left, a pair of Babson College students were  investigated for allegedly “enagag[ing] in actions that were ‘racially offensive and gender demeaning’” by driving through Wellesley College gloating about Mr. Trump’s victory.

(Babson) Vice President of Student Affairs Lawrence P. Ward had said the duo drove by Wellesley’s Harambee House, a “focal point” for black students, and noted it was “important to understand that our students’ behavior was experienced by many students of color and perceived by many others” as offensive (emphasis added).

Babson continued with its investigation despite its, and Wellesley’s, department of public safety “not corroborating key allegations.” The lawyer for one of the accused said Babson officials were on “a witch hunt.”

Now, the Boston Herald reports these officials relied on a hefty amount of hearsay when issuing their condemnations of the students:

The investigative documents, obtained by the Herald, show:

• Babson administrators receiving false reports the students were flying a Confederate flag. The initial report said the students’ actions “made many students feel very unsafe and terrorized.”

•    Babson received about 90 “bias reports,” only six of which appeared to be from witnesses. Most were echoing a Facebook post, written by a nonwitness, calling for [accused students Edward] Tomasso and [Parker] Rand-Ricciardi to be punished.

• A Wellesley College employee reported hearing a student say Tomasso or Rand-Ricciardi shouted a derogatory term for lesbians. The student did not wish to be interviewed. Tomasso and Rand-Ricciardi denied the allegation.

• A Wellesley student told investigators she and her passenger drove up to the truck during a police stop on Route 135. The driver said her passenger filmed the truck, shouted an expletive at it and told her one of the Babson students spat at the car. The driver said she “didn’t see the spitting happen.” Tomasso and Rand-Ricciardi denied spitting, and officers said they did not witness it.

• The passenger, also a Wellesley student, told Babson police she “heard that they had come to the Harambee House and menaced my friends.” Harambee House serves Wellesley students of African descent. A Harambee House student worker claimed the truck made her feel “like my space was violated to a whole another level.” Tomasso and Rand-Ricciardi said they did not know what Harambee House was.

Hey, if those Wellesley students filmed the truck, where’s the video? And if the passenger yelled an expletive at the truck, and the truck driver responded by spitting at the car, so? What do you expect — a wave “hello”?

No wonder the public safety departments couldn’t corroborate evidence.

Tomasso and Rand-Ricciardi have a disciplinary hearing this Friday on “on harassment and disorderly conduct charges.” Babson President Kerry Healey said in a statement that the school’s “protocols are designed to ensure a fair process for all parties involved and to deliver an appropriate resolution based on evidence, not conjecture.”

Yeah, we’ll see.

Read the full story.

h/t to Richie Salter

MORE: Investigation of duo for ‘demeaning’ behavior towards Wellesley students

MORE: Lawyer rips Babson College for its handling of post-election ‘incident’

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.