While many students have been away for the summer, the Central Florida Future has kept track of the latest UCF news. In case you missed it, here are some of the biggest stories featured throughout the summer:
Former Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury departed for Oregon State in mid-June, leaving UCF’s director of athletics position vacant. To fill the void, head football coach George O’Leary accepted the position of interim director of athletics.
O’Leary assumed this new role on July 11 and will serve until the end of 2015. He will continue to serve in his position as head football coach while simultaneously taking control of the university’s entire athletics department.
“I’m head football coach [and] athletic director, and I will make sure that both jobs are done extremely well,” he said. “I would not have even looked at this job if I couldn’t be fair to both situations.”
A large fire erupted at Tivoli Apartments in mid-July. The Seminole County Fire Department fought to extinguish the blaze, and two firefighters were sent to the hospital due to heat exposure.
Eight buildings were evacuated and about 75 students from a total of 24 units were displaced. Of the displaced residents, about 25 were UCF students, said UCF spokesman Chad Binette. UCF Victim Services and the Red Cross teamed up to provide assistance to residents. In addition, UCF offered temporary housing for displaced students at the Lake Claire community on campus, Binette said.
Following the fire, the UCF community came together to assist the victims who were affected. Many students offered help by starting GoFundMe accounts and donating the funds to affected victims. Knight Library also chipped in to help those affected, and some Greek organizations aided affected residents by organizing clothing, food and toiletry drives in addition to collecting cash donations.
A viral video capturing the arrest of Deidra Reid at The Retreat apartments near UCF was abuzz on social media with claims that Orange County officers used excessive force. Reid, 21, who is not a UCF student, was arrested in late July after an altercation with off-duty officer Brett Parnell.
A short video shows Parnell forcing Reid to the ground with her hands behind her back while she screamed for help. Students expressed their discontent with OCSO and showed their support for Reid on Twitter with the hashtag #JusticeForDeidra.
A witness said it all started after Reid yelled at Parnell’s son for not opening the complex’s computer lab door for her. Reid was meeting up with a friend at the computer lab, but because she was not a resident of The Retreat, she did not have a key to get inside. Once Reid got inside, witness Jacqueline Fernandez said Reid yelled at the boy for not letting her into the building.
After the boy ran to his father in tears, Parnell went to his car to grab his badge and proceeded to the clubhouse to tell Reid to leave. When she repeatedly refused, Parnell called in help from courtesy officer Richard Nye. When he arrived at the scene, Nye ordered Reid to put her hands behind her back, but she refused.
After deputies were able to handcuff Reid, she complained about shoulder pain as officers escorted her to a patrol vehicle. She was taken to Florida Hospital East to have her shoulder evaluated before being taken to the Booking and Release Center.
UCF documents show that the Sigma Nu Fraternity has been suspended after a June 9 incident that occurred at the fraternity’s off-campus apartment. A member was reportedly caught on video chanting “rape” and other sexual comments.
While the report does not mention what led to the yelling, a video recorded by the girlfriend of one of the brothers reveals a brother allegedly yelling comments: “Let’s rape some [expletive]. Rape some sluts.” The brother proceeded to chant “rape,” according to the report.
A conduct board panel hearing is scheduled for Thursday, when Sigma Nu will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present witnesses.
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.