Students seek dialogue about raid

Students are looking to open an informed dialogue about Saturday’s early morning raid of the Morse-Stiles screw at Elevate Lounge, they said at a news conference held by Phelps Gate on Tuesday afternoon.

“We share the same goals as the New Haven Police Department,” Ward 1 Alderman Mike Jones ’11 said. “We all want to live as a safe community.”

Five student eyewitnesses offered accounts of the raid at the conference, which was organized by the Student Response Committee, a group that includes the Morse and Ezra Stiles College Councils and Student Activity Committees, the Yale College Council, and other leaders on campus.

“I think we can only benefit from an extended conversation between police and students,” Yale College Council President Jeff Gordon ’12 said. “It’s clearly unfortunate for that to arise from a traumatic experience such as this one.”

Jaya Wen ’12, an Ezra Stiles student activities coordinator said students were “confused, hurt and scared” by police action, adding that police made no announcement about the purpose or duration of the raid.

Wen said she has been part of an alcohol inspection before, in which lights came on, music shut off, and the operation was completed in 20 to 25 minutes.

Gordon said the Student Response Committee is working alongside the University, but making more direct contact with students than the administration. The committee is encouraging as many students as possible to file official complaints and members of the New Haven community with comparable experiences should share those as well, Jones said.

“If there are other people in the community who have similar stories, they should come forward as these students have bravely come forward,” Jones said.

State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield and City Chief Administrative Officer Rob Smuts ’01 were among those in attendance.

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