February 24, 2006

Panel Addresses Stabbing

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The University confirmed yesterday that Nathan Poffenbarger ’08, who stands accused of stabbing Union College student Charles Holiday, was temporarily suspended on Saturday following the incident. According to Judicial Administrator Mary Beth Grant J.D. ’88, the hearing board upheld the suspension Wednesday night “pending a full hearing on the merits.”

“The judicial administrator will pursue the matter in the campus judicial system after the criminal matter has been resolved,” Grant said at a panel discussion last night.

Poffenbarger signed a release for his relevant protected records, allowing the University to speak more specifically about the judicial proceedings.

Susan Murphy ’73, vice president of student and academic services, Kent Hubbell ’67, the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students, and Cptn. Kathy Zoner of Cornell Police joined Grant on a panel last night in Noyes Community Center to discuss the incident. Murphy said she was interested in finding more effective means of dealing with the incident as a community.

Hubbell also emphasized that despite the alleged crime, Poffenbarger remains a Cornell student.

“[He] is still a part of this community,” Hubbell said. He pointed out that many community members were “stunned when this happened” and found the alleged crime to be “uncharacteristic” of Poffenbarger.

Murphy said that Holiday’s parents had been transported to Cornell to pick their son up. As of last night, the Union College student is home in Schenectady, N.Y., expecting a full recovery.

Approximately 40 people – less than a dozen of them students – attended the panel discussion. Most attendees were Cornell Campus Life staff members. One issue the forum addressed was how to facilitate the dissemination of information to students and other Cornellians.

“We learned some things that need to change about our crisis management [in regards to] incidents of violence on campus,” Murphy said. “But