Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire, 19, was fatally stabbed on Cornell's campus the morning of Aug. 28.

Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire, 19, was fatally stabbed on Cornell's campus the morning of Aug. 28.

September 5, 2016

Official Says Event Before Anthony Nazaire’s Death Was Dry, Monitored

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One week after Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire was fatally stabbed on Cornell’s campus, with authorities yet to arrest or publicly name a suspect, the campus community is still struggling to understand how a standard student gathering could lead to Ithaca’s first homicide in five years.

Video footage taken last weekend shows that Nazaire attended an Omega Psi Phi party hosted in Willard Straight Hall in the hours before he was stabbed. His family has said that they believe Nazaire and a friend accidentally bumped into someone while leaving the event, which led to the altercation in which Nazaire was stabbed, although the Ithaca Police Department has so far declined to confirm or deny all such reports.

It remains unclear whether the perpetrator attended the event or whether anything that happened at the event precipitated the stabbing.

Registration and Planning

The fraternity received permission to host the party — their annual orientation week celebration — through a standard event registration process available to all Cornell students and student organizations, according to David Bell, assistant director of Willard Straight Hall and community center programs.

“Willard Straight Hall is the student union at Cornell for all Cornell students, so there is no policy for deciding who gets to host,” Bell said. “It is open to all student organizations.”

Saturday’s party was registered as a dry event, which meant that Omega Psi Phi was responsible for making sure no alcohol was consumed on the premises and for reporting any infractions to WSH staff or Cornell police officers on the scene. The fraternity declined to comment on the specifics of the event, but Bell confirmed that no such reports were made.

As WSH does not have a blanket policy on attendance at authorized events, Omega Psi Phi had impunity to decide whom to invite and admit — including non-Cornell students like Nazaire — according to Bell.

A Successful Event

After their registration form was approved by several key stakeholders — including WSH staff and the Cornell University Police Department — Omega Psi Phi had to pay a standard fee to compensate two late night event managers, who are students hired by WSH to monitor events.

Bell said that it is typical to have two event managers and two CUPD officers present at late-night events, and said he believed that two were present at the Omega Psi Phi event, although CUPD Chief Kathy Zoner confirmed that only one Cornell officer attended last Saturday.

After the party, the event managers checked in with custodial staff, as they always do, and filed their event summary sheet. The sheet described only one incident, according to Bell: two attendees had been smoking on the terrace, believing that it was allowed, were politely asked to stop, and immediately complied.

“In the history of this event, we’ve never had an incident in which building managers had to address the hosts and say there was a problem, and this was no exception,” Bell said. “I got a glowing review.”

The event broke up by about 1:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to IPD. Authorities arrived at the scene to find Nazaire and another, unidentified Ithaca College student stabbed at 1:57 a.m. Nazaire was pronounced dead later that morning.

57 thoughts on “Official Says Event Before Anthony Nazaire’s Death Was Dry, Monitored

  1. When the Omega brothers were promoting the event, what expectations were they creating. For example, look at this instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/5LVSDxyvai/ and at Omega’s Twitter activity from 2015: https://twitter.com/CornellQues They claim to be”Scandalous”. What steps are the Omegas taking to demand that their members cooperated fully with the police? If there were Omegas at the door to collect the cover charge, what were their instructions regarding searching bags for alcohol?

    How could a large event scheduled from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. be attended by not a single student who had “pre-gamed” and came to the event drunk? Did the tox screen perforned on the two IC students find any alochol in their blood streams?

    • No name yet?
      When tuitions go up after this lawsuit perhaps a name will
      miraculously appear !
      DISGRACEFUL. Also if I was one of the hundreds that took
      a pictures I would have seen the killing and I should submit
      a testimony,etc.

  2. Hmmm.. A COLLEGE FRATERNITY was responsible for making sure no alcohol wears consumed and making sure everyone followed the rules. If you’ve never been to a college fraternity party ,then that sounds realistic.For the rest of us that have attended any college fraternity party on planet earth, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Please rewatch the movie Animal House and decide if most fraternities can be responsible enough to “follow the rules” etc. during a party open to all of Ithaca. Administration should never ever have allowed this.

  3. If Ithaca College and Cornell put out a reward for information leading to this murderer ,you will see how fast information comes in. unless there is information that is being held from the public so far then something more drastic needs to be done. The family of the slain student and the parents and students of both colleges deserve answers this is leading to a lot of anxiety for all !!!

  4. I’m praying they catch this awful person who did this and lock him up and throw away the key forever. Such a senseless killing. My son goes to Cornell and I cant imagine the pain this poor mom is enduring. My heart breaks for her and her family. Prayers for this family to get through this horrific tragedy:(

  5. I have a freshman boy who just started at Ithaca. He attended a concert at Cornell earlier in the evening before Anthony Navaire was tragically killed. Every day I check to see if there is any news at all as to who perpetrated this horrible crime. Personally, I don’t understand why there has been no one named as the assailant. It’s astonishing to me that there has not been a shred of evidence mentioned. Clearly, some of the students who were there at the time must have seen SOMETHING. They say that there are videos or images on cell phones. Is it another student who did this? It is not okay that no one has been caught. It is not okay that we the public haven’t heard a blessed thing about what is being done to find whoever did this. Certainly, doesn’t make me feel comfortable having all these kids in Ithaca with a killer on the loose. I am deeply disappointed in the way this has been handled by the Ithaca police and Cornell.

  6. I’m outraged that no one has been arrested to date in this horrific murder. How can video be taken by lots and lots of people and no one is charged yet. I hope this is not a case of wealthy parents stepping in fixing the system for their child. That would be sinful but not surprising. My daughter goes to Ithaca College and I have cried just about everyday for his family.

  7. What steps is Cornell taking against Omega Psi Phi regarding this party and the non-cooperation in determining who attended the party and who may have witnessed the knife attack?

    When a woman alleged a sexual assault at Psi U last year, Cornell immediately put all of Psi U on probation until the group’s role in the attack could be adjudicated. Ultimately, Psi U was cleared by the hearing board, but Cornell suspended them on Slope Day anyway. It appears that Omega Psi Phi was negligent in conducting this party and in maintaining safe conditions for its guests. Why was Cornell so quick to take an interim action against Psi U, but has failed to take any interim action against Omega Psi Phi?

    Regarding the Campus Police, where did the officer(s) go at the end of the party? Did they remain inside WSH, did they create a presence on Ho Plaza until everyone left, or did they just go directly to Barton Hall?

    Nothing could possibly be worse than a homicide during Orientation Week.

    • Easier to take action against a typical IFC fraternity with a house (Psi U) versus a MGLC fraternity with no house. Additionally, what is Omega Psi Phi guilty of? Perhaps simply letting non-students into their event (assuming that’s who committed this crime).

      • Joe You say what is the fraternity guilty of?
        You need to get to set some morals!
        Someone or some institution will pay- hundreds of people
        just staring and video taping and no one is guilty????

        • Where in this article does it say anything about non-cooperation or any allude to any wrong doing by the fraternity? Everyone at that event is supposed to know who everyone is (i mean sure, they shouldn’t let in non-students)? What makes you think people haven’t given descriptions of the perpetrator and they simply haven’t been able to find them??

  8. Don’t the Administrations of Cornell and Ithaca have some part to play in enforcing this investigation? Could they not suspend every student from their school who was present at this event, can be identified from cell cameras etc and get letters sent home telling parents why they are suspended? Until the Police have a resolution to this heinous crime all suspects need to be seriously suffering consequences for not cooperating with the Police. I worry the longer this goes on, that this will foster conflict between the two schools. Or that it will feed into racial tensions at the schools. How can a black man be killed with 200 witnesses and there be no arrests? I am the father of a freshman woman who is a minority and I am fearful for my daughter’s safety. I am also concerned that she be influenced by the very negative relationships between the students, faculty and the President of IC. We only became aware of the seriousness in ICAdministration when we had committed to attend. With hindsight we were not adequately informed by IC prior to our admissions decisions, Did we make a huge mistake in choosing IC for our daughter? We are watching carefully and will take action to withdraw her if there is not a adequate resolution to this matter. Yes it would be good to create a petition to hold these schools accountable for this terrible behavior, not just by students fighting, but by their cowardice and shallowness in not bringing the culprit to justice.
    Reply ↓

    • Totally believe some discussion between IC And Cornell
      needs to come out this week! It’s obvious to me that the
      police have a description of the killer!!!

  9. I am so sad that something like this occurred @ Cornell,we like to think our campuses are safe places for our children.My heart goes out to Anthony’s Family)esp his Mom),Friends,and classmates who I’m sure are stunned & sorrowful.Anthony obviously was a gifted& well loved young person with a incredibly bright future.I hope anyone who witnessed this terrible incident will have the courage to come forward for the sake of Anthony”s family.As a Ithaca Community member,it breaks my heart whenever anything bad happens to the Students,whatever school they attend.So very sorry for all who knew him& that we could not protect him.Pat Shea

    • This death happened on Ho Plaza on the center of campus. Shannon Jones was killed in a Westview Apartments at 400 Triphammer Road, which is off-campus in the Village of Cayuga Heights.

      • Yes, Shannon was a Cornell undergrad who was murdered at Westview Apt. in Cayuga Heights. However, this apartment complex is the first building off campus and actually shares borders with the Ecology House dorm and a sorority house, both on campus. A campus blue light is steps away from this apartment complex. This student’s death should not be overlooked.

  10. As I said before in various other posts regarding articles dealing with this crime, if Ithaca and New York State police are unable to get to the bottom of this, then the FBI needs to be involved . There is obviously a knife wielding short tempered person killer there that has access to campus life -so let’s get going with this . If no information is given about a suspect by the time parents weekend comes along for either college, parents really need to step up and push the administration and/or police for outside help because honestly, this is getting sickening . The the extra worry added to each parent that has a student at either of these colleges knows the angst that I am feeling, and of course let’s not forget the family and mother of this young man. CORNELL SUN- PLEASE SHOW THE POSTS REGARDING THE STABBING ( multiple articles) TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. This is a disgrace to say the least. PS NOBODY WILL WANT THEIR KID TO STAY or even enroll at schools where there’s an unsolved murder. Call Henry Lee if you have to!!!!

    • So I agree and hope to see the FBI in a news report soon
      So
      Sorry you have to endure this pain and suffering and anquish .
      Hope to hear the name of the killer soon or I’m sure there
      will be consequences this school year in future events and monetarily!

  11. What you all neglect to understand is that you want immediate gratification. I do too. But this is not television. If you have kept up, you know many people have come forward with videos and statements. Investigators are working around the clock and want more. They need solid evidence. What happens if what they have isn’t solid? This dirt bag and his buddies will go free and they are never held accountable for this heinous crime. The incident took place outside WSH. I think The frat took care of most all they were supposed to. This incident can occur anywhere. No place is immune to this evil violence. This is why it’s so important police don’t screw this up. We have a son at CU. I am not worried for him any more than I was before. I know Ithaca is a safe place. I know CUPD, IPD and NYSP are doing all they can to do this right. I will be surprised if the killer is a student. Really, who carries a knife? That’s straight up prison shanking style and likely experience. Anthony’s family also has expressed confidence in law enforcement. I’m guessing they know a bit more of what we do t know as well. My thoughts and prayers are with them. As for our kids who are actually adults in Ithaca, just remind them to be aware.

    • In response to Amom- we all understand that investigations can take time. But, as parents reading about the situation from afar, seeing articles like this regarding the party being dry and “monitored” (which of course is silly) instead of articles about the fact that they are working hard on this investigation and are interviewing witnesses,etc. You write that the frat took care of what it was supposed to-what does that mean and where are you getting that information?? Also, you think it wasn’t a student?? Again, not sure where you’re getting your info. I would guess that most people at this party were college students.

      • I am far as well. I have followed all articles and and police releases. I have also read what the family has written. As for the frat, I wrote they did their minimal required. The party would be dry just and monitored on their way in. Dry meaning no alcohol sold. If your child is drinking from a flask inside the party where hundreds are dancing or outside by the bushes especially or even most likely before the gathering they cannot be held accountable. I am not one to pass the blame. I want the ones held accountable for this crime to be done. This party was not something new. It was advertised on social media for all to see and to anyone to come. I.E. We could have gone. Nothing staying ID required. I say I would be surprised if it was a student because of the crime- a stabbing. I don’t know where you live but that’s a very uncommon violent crime except incarceration. Gun yes knife no. If you have followed from it happened you know they are building a case.

      • Let me further by, they want witnesses and video but you haven’t read the police are actively searching for suspects or worried there is a knife wielding person loose on campus right? They want witnesses and video. You want the name. One mom to another, the frat shouldn’t have been allowed to have had it on campus but as long as you’ve taught your kid to be responsible Ithaca is probably safer than where you’ve sent them from.

    • I would not be surprised if it were a student who is responsible for this, not someone with prison experience. 5 years ago there was a student stabbing/murder at a fraternity house on the University of Rochester campus. Our kids are not fully functioning adults until into their early 20’s when the brain is fully developed. Impulse suppression is one thing that takes longer to develop. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml

  12. I read that over 200 people attended the event. There were two WSH student staff members, one campus policeman, and an undisclosed number of Omega Psi Phi brothers to monitor the event. How many Omega Psi Phi brother had monitoring duties and what were they?

    Did other Multicultural Greek Organizations hold events during Orientation Week? Were they also alcohol free and were there any altercations? If not, we can infer that the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. scheduling may be the high risk aspect of the Omega Psi Phi party. I understand Mr.Bell’s position that he will rent out WSH to any student group, but there is an Orientation Committee that plans Orientation Week and there is Travis Apgar that regulates fraternity parties. Why did they believe that it was a good idea to hold this event as a part of Orientation Week? The Sun has yet to quote any Cornell Official as stating that University policies allow fraternity parties as a recruitment tool during Orientation Week.

    Far too much time is passing, and the chances of catching the killer diminish with each day. We need to see the Orientation Committee, University administrators and faculty leaders all demanding that everyone cooperate with the police investigation and the closing of this case.

    • Absolute and total joke that they would rent out the Straight to anybody. Complete lie and total fabrication and any current or former students can easily recognize it as such.

  13. FYI- this is not something new on a college campus in 2009 a UConn student was stabbed after a fraternity party as well ( Google it and you’ll see) so the chances of it being a student or highly likely. As far as AMOMS comments, I have been following the case as well and you’re missing my point which is that we seem to see a lot of articles that sound like excuses rather than articles discussing the investigation that’s all. I am aware of what a dry party is supposed to be but we all know that that’s a bunch of nonsense that yes they all bring alcohol and or drink it outside before they come. I am also aware that it is a violent uncommon crime and extremely unexpected in upstate New York but it happens. There are a lot of fights and problems which occur at fraternity parties and just googling stabbings at or in front of fraternity houses – there are multiple throughout the country through the years. As many of us who’ve attended college with Greek life we know that there can be violence after night of drinking as well as during pledge time although it is not sanctioned by the colleges. Anyway I am going off on a tangent a bit but my point was that I would prefer to see articles or some information about what the university is trying to do in the future to avoid this what they plan to do with fraternities and their ability to get out of hand on campus grounds and what they plan on doing for security at parties which take place on campus. I personally like others have mentioned don’t want to read about any nonsense about being it being a dry and monitored party. The words fraternity and dry and monitored cannot even be said in the same sentence.

  14. To AMOM- i’m really sorry but you are absolutely missing the point of what many of us are saying . Writing “seven years ago,really?” Shows you obviously are not well informed. Additionally it doesn’t matter if it seven years ago or one year ago the point is that it was probably a student it occurred at a fraternity party and these things should not be allowed on campus and The fraternity party violence happens more than we think -in 2016 two students were stabbed at a fraternity party at Cal State ,in 2016 another stabbing occurred at a fraternity house in Clemson University ,in 2015 another stabbing at Tufts at a fraternity house , at University of Toledo in 2013 another frat house stabbing .. Shall I go on ?? Let’s just stop the bantering back-and-forth and just pray to God that they figure this all out so we can all be put at ease, and also let’s hope that the university changes its rules and regulations regarding parties like this on their campus.

    • Which Cal State? Hahaha Lots of nothing facts you threw with no back up. I am missing nothing but I am surprised you let your snowflake leave home. I am exceptionally informed. I am putting the blame where it belongs. Please get your facts straight and correlate them with *all* frat parties held across each state during these years discussed with your couple vague reported violent acts. I would like to see the stats of violent acts at every frat party. You gave me less than a handful compared to hundreds if not thousands of events. Stop. Stats girl, stats. And btw, the university should not allow these large parties on its campus as I stated. Do not interpret this to mean it cannot happen again at an off campus location. My surprise of 7 years ago fact is merely this, you have zero idea of the world in which we live where this does not suprise me. I’m quite sure there are a dozen recent facts to pull up. But you focus on this where they are not looking for a suspect just evidence. I’ll pray to God with you. But are you aware of the extreme diverse campus CU is? Time to get a puppy another mom .

  15. The examples of stabbings at those other fraternities were only brought up to prove the point that it most likely was a student who committed the crime, as in these other cases. And it really matters which Cal state? I have The facts of these cases perfectly straight. Look them up. Btw I never said that it was a common fraternity party occurrence,what I was saying was that based on all the other examples of stabbings at fraternity events, THE PERPETRATOR WAS ANOTHER STUDENT.. That’s all plain and simple.. PS I already have a puppy and that was an unnecessary comment.

    • You gave zero backed examples. I don’t want to hear about any Cal State. My dog could have gotten in there. I am not looking up any unfounded vague piece of info that is making you cry. Go tend to your puppy. Call your snowflake.

      • Wow, AMom. You need to slow your roll. Not sure what your issue is, but it appears that most of the people commenting in this thread who are parents of either CU or IC students who are concerned for: 1) the families of Anthony Nazaire and the other person who was assaulted; 2) the safety of their own children; and 3) the seeming lack of urgency on the part of the CU administration to get to the bottom of this crime (not to mention the policies that allowed an environment in which it could happen). Most of us are seeking information and answers. Your agenda seems different Go choke YOUR puppy.

        • AMEN ICDAD!!!
          Very “off” comments by this person-
          Her thoughtless responses make no sense and appear to not understand what most here are saying. Still waiting , like everyone else, for more info regarding the many questions posed…

          • BTW- the other commentor never said the other examples of college stabbings were “making her cry” information was being given apparently as an example of student on student fraternity party crimes. No need to crucify.

  16. Omega Psi should have had their charter suspended immediately and their recruitment activities immediately halted.

    Elephant in the room– the murderer (who may be still on campus and a student) is being because of race and because of the Greek system. Unconscionable! It amazes me that millenial students have become so narcissistic, shallow and corrupt that covering up a murder is more acceptable than turning in evidence to arrest/convict a fellow brother. Disgusting.

    • I will be glad to hear the penalty these kids will have to face when some decent person does the right thing!
      There are always consequences!

  17. Just a few thoughts after reading this article and the comments:
    1.fraternities did not hold open parties in student union in the past-don’t know why that was ever allowed.
    2.It is most likely a student who did this
    3.As a female at a.frat party who once had a dirty mop thrown at her from a second floor staircase landing to the first floor because I did not want to dance with a fraternity brother, I understand the alcohol fueled fraternity mentality. This of course, took things to another sick level.(and I am aware the killer could have been anyone-I’m just speaking of my experience)
    On another note the person commenting as Amom ; no need to be condescending to others- advising a person to get a puppy, referring to someone’s kid as snowflake , and referring to Cal state as a place your dog could get into-no need for that! the other commenter was pointing out other cases of student on student stabbings at other colleges to exemplify that the killer was highly likely a student. No need to be rude. Hopefully this case will be solved in a timely manner.

    • Omega Psi Phi does not currently have a residential house at Cornell. So, they hold events by renting out the student union. One would expect the same rules to apply whether the party is at a rented facility or at the fraternity’s own building. Travis Apgar enforces the rules for all fraternities, sororities, independent living units and multicultural organizations. When will he give the Sun an interview explaining why this party was allowed to be scheduled until 2 a.m. during Orientation Week?

  18. Why are the comments placing so much emphasis on the fact that this event was on campus. If you starve for supervision of your children, is it not feasible to say that an on campus dry event would generally be inherently safer than a party off campus with no supervision at all? I agree that it is unfortunate that there has either been no transparency to this process or potentially little progress to the investigation. But this does not mean Cornell as an institution did anything wrong or is in some way responsible. This is college, not a violence ridden high school with metal detectors and pat downs, nor should it be treated as such. The students are adults, live apart from their parents and enjoy freedom of mobility and supervision for the most part. This basically defines a college experience anywhere. Would you rather your children are not allowed to have social events on campus, have curfews, and be ID’d at every stop? Or would you rather they learn how to navigate the world as adults?

    • Obviously there needs to be extra extra security when there are crimes such as rapt and murder! Duh
      Life has changed and not everyone can cope!
      Of course parents are not even permitted to see grades or mental health reports! We only receive the bills.
      Years ago our daughter was leaving Columbia on the weekends to visit her boyfriend at Brown and we had to call the campus police to knock on her boyfriends door . Of course he had to meet with a school official but no consequences.

      • I don’t disagree that extra security could help, but realistically murder is very rare on college campuses including Cornell. Much rarer than areas not on college campuses. Rape and sexual assault unfortunately are common occurrences, and I honestly wonder how extra security can be used to combat given that so much of it happens in the private sphere (apartments, etc.) or off campus. That being said if it can help, the colleges certainly have the resources to add additional campus police and security to maintain a stronger presence so I can agree with that. As for your comment on your daughter I am a bit confused, given that your daughter was most likely a full 18+ year old adult with the freedom to choose what she does on the weekends. Simply being in college does not remove the basic liberties of adulthood unless there is some sort of campus policy/code that she signed that prohibits her departure from Manhattan on weekends, etc. I don’t believe this is true, as most schools simply require freshman to not use/own automobiles. Then you would have only an issue with her and the school, and there is nothing the boyfriend did wrong. I guess the best you could argue in this context is that you, the parent, could have an agreement with your daughter that she would not visit Rhode Island over the weekends because you are theoretically paying her tuition. Again, what does this have to do with the boyfriend at Brown?

        • For some students, this is their first weekend ever away from home. Orientation Week is a memorable, once in a life-time experience that will help frame their years at Cornell. You can make life-long friends and get involved with student activities that you did not dream of in high school. It is a week to get your bearings, learn your limits and explore new interests. Cornell assigns you an Orientation Counselor to smooth the transition.

          It is a wading pool before you dive into the deep end of Cornell with all of its academic pressures and time commitments. This death has cast a pall over the Orientation experience of all freshmen. I think that Cornell has an obligation to manage risk and to create a Orientation schedule that is a positive experience. I could see how events would end at mid-night and not 2 a.m. and I could see how Orientation events would be limited to the Cornell Community rather than open to IC students and the public.

          Adults have the freedom during the rest of their lives to visit New York City or to find the boyfriend at Brown. However, Cornell has commanded these students to spend this week in Ithaca for orientation and is using tuition dollars to create a good orientation experience for the new students. Can’t the Orientation Committee structure a schedule that excludes parties that go until 2 a.m. and excludes 2 a.m. fatal knife fights?

          • Don’t disagree with anything you are saying, of course the post you are responding to has nothing to do with orientation week. I think we would all agree that a freshman during orientation week should not be traveling to Brown to visit a boyfriend, but that was not was was posed by the author of the original post. Basically, more security particularly during orientation week wouldn’t hurt, and these events probably should be closed to outside students, but what is the difference between 12AM and 2AM, at least the later time is after the bars close in Ithaca.

  19. The onus of the responsibility isn’t on people being there to stop murder, the onus is on the individual responsibility of individuals not to murder. A lot of scapegoatthing on whose fault it was that something terrible happened – how about this: it was the murder’s fault

  20. It’s been 2 weeks since this murder occurred on campus!! Can we get Even one shred of info on the investigation???? Even just a blurb from the police or university that they are Working on it and it’s moving along etc??? What the hell? We know we can’t get details but just acknowledgement that the case is top priority and ongoing. Not cool at all to say nothing!!!!!

    • Is it a crime to make up a story as this girl did that bumped into Anthony and friend?
      It is a crime to pull the knob ins fire alarm !
      The killer will probably be drunk or drugged and declare he has no recognition . I believe both are responsible but the girl is more responsible!
      All we hear on the news is trash . The important stuff like “killer is on the campus, ” is not revealed.

  21. Why no editorial in which this paper calls out those with information that have not come forward? The Cornell Daily Sun can be very opinionated. I guess this is not important enough.

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