FAU President Mary Jane Saunders opens up about accident involving Owlcatraz student protester, school opens investigation against victim and other protesters

Dylan Bouscher

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With the GEO Group naming rights deal now off, the university’s Division of Student Affairs has opened a student conduct investigation against the protesters who surrounded FAU President Mary Jane Saunders’ car on March 22, according to the student clipped by Saunders’ car.

Dr. Corey King, Dean of Student Affairs, spoke with Stop Owlcatraz protester, Elite Owl, and senior women’s studies major Britni Hiatt today about the investigation, telling her it was routine.

“Dr. King assured me there was nothing to worry about,” Hiatt said.

In a recent video interview with the UP, Saunders also addressed her accident, where sheallegedly fled the scene after the passenger mirror of her Lexus GS brushed Hiatt in Parking Lot 70 on the Jupiter campus. (To see Saunders and Hiatt’s reactions to the accident, watch the video above)

Saunders agreed with Anthony Barbar — the chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, FAUs thirteen highest-ranking officials — who told the Sun-Sentinel that the students who surrounded her car owed her an apology.

“I think yes, I think the [the student protesters] over-reacted and they got caught up in the excitement of the moment,” Saunders told the UP. “And did things that were not, actually, legal.”

Hiatt does not agree with Saunders.

“For her to say that I owe her an apology is … very offensive, and confusing for me,” Hiatt said.

The accident is still being investigated by FAU PD and the State Attorney’s Office, according to the original accident report and Saunders.

Five new witness statements, omitted from the accident report originally sent to the UP on March 23, were obtained earlier this week. All five statements were written by students who were within feet of Saunders’ car when the accident occurred, and all five statements claim Saunders fled the scene, without stopping, while driving the wrong way out of a loop. (To read the statements yourself, check here.)

Yet neither of the two statements written by the FAU police officers who reported the accident address whether Saunders fled the scene or not.

Add the Student Affairs student conduct investigation, and there are now three total open investigations concerning the accident. The UP contacted Media Relations for comment from Student Affairs officials, but they could not be reached as of publication time.

Check back for updates from Student Affairs officials.