University of Vermont

University Communications

Update: Threatening Language On Campus

The following is a campus communication distributed Thursday, Oct. 5, by Lianne Tuomey, chief of UVM Police Services:

As stated in a campus communication on October 2, 2017, the University received information from a UVM community member who overheard a telephone conversation in which a then-unidentified person allegedly used explicitly racist and threatening language directed toward African Americans and general diversity initiatives on campus. UVM Police Services was notified and began an investigation immediately, managing the situation and taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our community.

A subsequent campus communication on October 4 indicated that the investigation had led to the identification of a single person of interest. After consultation with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, who determined the appropriate charge, UVM Police Services has issued a citation to Wesley Richter, 20, a Continuing Education student, to appear in court on a charge under Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 13, section 1026 (a) (1). It states that, “A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he or she, with intent to cause public inconvenience or annoyance, or recklessly creates a risk thereof: engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior.”

UVM Police Services has conducted a thorough investigation and threat assessment. They found no information of an imminent threat to public safety. If there had been an imminent threat of harm to our community or to individuals, including any indications of weapons involved, additional steps and safeguards would have been initiated, including extensive CatAlert messages, instructions, and updates across all email, telephone, and social media.

UVM Police Services has done everything within its authority and discretion to expedite and conclude the investigation, in consultation with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, who is responsible for determining the charge and who will proceed with the next steps of the legal process.