Eastern Michigan University stated falsely that student Laura Dickinson not died of foul play in her dorm room when there actually was evidence of homicide, says the Los Angeles Times. Another student was arrested in the case 10 weeks later. Only then did the university acknowledge that Dickinson had been raped and killed in her dorm room by someone who took her keys and locked the door when he left. The school’s secrecy has left many students and residents of Ypsilanti, southwest of Detroit, shaken and outraged. For many, this bucolic campus – founded in the mid-1800s to train teachers – had been violated.
The school “lied to us,” Laura’s father, Bob Dickinson, said. “They let us bury her thinking that a healthy 22-year-old girl died by some freak accident.” An independent investigation initiated by the school’s Board of Regents agrees said the school violated the Clery Act, a federal law requiring colleges and universities to disclose information about campus crimes and warn students of threats to their safety. The U.S. Education Department has as conducted 70 inquiries since October 2003 on possible Clery Act violations, but only three institutions have been fined.