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V. Tech comments cause anxiety
Reynold Urias (COL’10), who goes by the name Rei Sairu, moved out of his Harbin room on Tuesday under the unwavering watch of Lorenzo Caltagirone, an area coordinator for the Office of Residence Life. Sairu said he underwent a psychiatric evaluation on Monday after the University received word that he had made a threatening comment regarding Virginia Tech, and that he is no longer allowed on campus. Sairu will finish the rest of his classes while living off-campus.
University Spokesperson Julie Green Bataille would not confirm or deny that the incident took place or speak to Georgetown’s policy on threatening comments. Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, however, said in a public meeting last night in Sellinger Lounge that Georgetown had addressed at least one misunderstood threat in the last ten days.
Ryan Hart (SFS’10), Sairu’s roommate, called the Counseling and Psychiatric Services hotline on Thursday, after Sairu had left on a trip to Canada with his French Theater class, to alert CAPS about a comment that Sairu made on Tuesday.
“I just heard something that made me feel uncomfortable,” Hart said.
Sairu said that he did make a comment about “pulling a Virginia Tech” on Tuesday but that he was not serious. Sairu said that he was stressed about his upcoming trip to Canada and father’s recent minor heart attack. He said he had also just participated in an MTV special, “Voices from Virginia,” about the violence at Virginia Tech, so the shootings were particularly on his mind.
“I had spent the last five hours with Virginia Tech on my head,” he said.
Sairu and Hart were not particularly close roommates by either of their accounts.
“I was never on good terms with Ryan,” Sairu said.
“We had a civil relationship,” Hart said.
Guy Spielmann, the professor who led Sairu’s class on the trip, said that he was contacted once by Caltagirone while in Canada, but that he did not know that anything was wrong until the group returned to Georgetown late Sunday night.
He still has not received official notice from the University that Sairu is no longer allowed on campus.
“The University didn’t notify me of anything officially,” he said. The class has two more performances scheduled, and Spielmann is unsure what to do without Sairu, who performs in the play.
Sairu made it clear that he is not being expelled and that he will have the option to come back next fall semester. He said that, although he feels the University is being too harsh, he has decided to cooperate with their requests that he leave.
“When people are scared they make mistakes,” he said. “I think it would be best to leave and let the dust settle.”
Sairu’s floormates had various reactions to his departure. Chris Schuville (MSB ’10) thought that Hart did the right thing in reporting Sairu’s behavior, but that the University’s response might have been too extreme.
“I think they had to do something, but maybe not to that extent,” he said.
Other Harbin residents had stronger opinions, saying that they would no longer feel safe living close to Sairu.
“It’s better to take action quickly than wait and see what happens,” Jamee Brody (COL ’10) said. “At this point, you have to take every single threat seriously.”