QVCC increases security after employee involved in Wintrich inci - WFSB 3 Connecticut

QVCC increases security after employee involved in Wintrich incident receives death threats

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Conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested after he lunged at a woman who appeared to have taken his notes. (WFSB) Conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested after he lunged at a woman who appeared to have taken his notes. (WFSB)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

Students at the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus marched against the action taken by the school following an incident involving a controversial conservative speaker.

The organizers claim UConn was complacent in the way it handled Tuesday's situation with Gateway Pundit commentator Lucian Wintrich and Catherine Gregory, who appeared to take Wintrich's notes during a speech.

The speech was called "It's OK to be White."

In the video of the incident, it looks like Gregory took a script from Wintrich's podium. Wintrich responded by chasing after her and an ensuing scuffle brought Gregory to the ground.

"It doesn't matter if it's a speech or a stock-bond from 1910 it was my property," Wintrich told Channel 3 earlier in the week. 

The whole incident prompted a fight the led to some damage on campus, according to UConn police.

Wintrich was arrested and charged with breach of peace for his involvement. He is due back in court on Dec. 11. 

"Do you really love us Susan," dozens of protesters chanted in reference to the UConn president during the march on Friday afternoon. 

The march started at the Jonathan the Husky statue and ended near the center of campus. Organizers of Friday's march want more accountability from UConn.

"I'm here because it's clear that our campus is very divided," UConn senior Stephanie Carhuayano said. 

Students from several organizations on campus banded together to organize the march within a short time.

"To be completely honest I don't really feel like today should change anybody's feelings," UConn junior Omar Taweh said. "This should just be like a step forward to getting what we demand as students because we pay this university, we expect the university would respond adequately to the way that we see fit." 

The marchers said they also want the school to formally address the incident, reverse its policies to prevent hate speech and establish a coalition of students that have direct contact with university president Susan Herbst.

 "It was in the news," UConn student Steve Thomas said. "It wasn't emailed to me and then we saw that she published a statement in Higher Ed which is disappointing." 

UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said the university "always encourage our students to exercise their free speech rights, just as they did today." 

"UConn must be known as a campus where people can engage on important issues and voice their concerns. We’re always happy to meet with students and listen to their views, as we’ve been doing and will continue to do. We look forward to more discussion about ways to work together in the spirit of mutual respect to achieve our common goals," Reitz said in a statement on Friday. 

Organizers of Friday's march, who used the hashtag #ItsOkToBeYou, said they want the College Republicans, which sponsored the event, to face repercussions such as probation.

"I think all of us were at the event on Tuesday," Wawa Gatheru, who is a UConn Student Government member, said. "And with the event that transpired after and the lack of response from the administration, we saw that there is a structural gap."

College Republicans put a statement out Thursday afternoon defending their right to invite Wintrich, but also saying they did not agree with everything he had to say. The marchers said this conversation is far from over. 

"I think it's in poor taste to invite an inflammatory speaker as a test to see if the student body is ready for something like happened at UC Berkley or one of those institutions," Taweh said. 

Gregory has yet to be charged with a crime.

"It's absurd to me that this woman wasn't arrested," Wintrich told Channel 3 earlier in the week. 

However, Gregory is now being represented by attorney Jon Schoenhorn.

"There is no aspect of theft," Schoenhorn told Channel 3 on Thursday.

On Thursday, Quinebaug Valley Community College confirmed that Gregory is an associate director of career services and advising at the school. A QVCC spokesperson also confirmed that Gregory was not on campus on Friday. 

QVCC officials have confirmed that Gregory has received death threats. Her picture has been removed from the QVCC website. 

“She has received emailed death threats, so in the interest of safety for all our students and employees, we took down her photo,” QVCC College President Carlee Drummer said in a statement on Friday. “I’ve also contacted state police at Troop D and we’ve beefed up security.” 

QVCC confirmed that the college is "taking extra precautions to protect students and staff after death threats were made against" Gregory. There are more security guards on the Danielson campus after the threats and "in response to an email from earlier in the week."   

Officials at QVCC said they have been receiving calls from people across the nation voicing their opinions on the matter and they are taking precautions.  

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