What began as a rumor has now become the truth; a well-known campus official has been terminated.
Officer Larry Samuels, affectionately known as “Officer Sam,” was on worker’s compensation when he received the phone call on April 20th stating he had been terminated.
A campus officer for the past seven years, the reason for termination was unknown to students, and also to Samuels. “I do not know why I was fired, all I know is that I was being terminated without a reason,” Samuels said. Without the opportunity to comment on circumstances surrounding the situation, Samuels feels as though his right to the sixth amendment was broken.
The sixth amendment states “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
After suffering from a fall in Camphor Hall a few weeks ago, “Officer Sam” was placed on temporary leave to recover. Due to absence, “I was not able to defend my case or my accuser,” Samuels said. On the campus of Dillard, many staff and faculty members have established relationships with students. From the public, these relationships may sometimes be misinterpreted and exaggerated.
“I have been accused of being too close to students and I feel like they are people just like me,” Samuels said. “I don’t feel like they need to be treated in a criminal manner unless they cross the line.” A student himself, Samuels is very popular and one of few campus officials who give students the respect they deserve as young adults.
From the opinion of students, sophomore Physical Therapy major Rashena Martin said, “Officer Sam is a good man; he would never have done anything worthy of termination. If the situation was truly that severe, he should have been informed on why he was terminated.” Other Dillard students feel as though termination without reason is a violation of rights.
According to Samuels, certain people feel they are above the law. “This is not the first time my rights have been violated and this time I’m not going to take it lightly,” Samuels said. During his tenure of seven years, Samuels has noticed many things that have changed at Dillard. “It’s not like it used to be and it has become a black hole for corruption,” Samuels said.At the time of press the Dillard University Police Department was unavailable for comment.
A campus built upon the reputation of a family-like atmosphere, has terminated one of the university’s most respected officers. Now faculty and students are left to wonder what the true limitations of involvement and concern are for another person.