Elon U Sued by Student for Alleged Discrimination

Elon U Sued by Student for Alleged Discrimination
Susan Dutca-Lovell

An Elon University student has filed a lawsuit against the university alleging unfair suspension following an off-campus fight with the son of one of the university's largest donors. According to the lawsuit, Spencer Schar had assaulted two women and punched another man before Samuel Shaw intervened, but Schar faced a lighter suspension.

Spencer Schar, son of Dwight and Martha Schar (whose $12 million gift to Elon University in 2014 was used for the construction of a new arena and hall) did not face the same punishment as Samuel Shaw following an October 2017 fight. According to Shaw's lawsuit, Shaw was riding around with a designated driver to pick up a drunken, violent student. Upon arrival, they allegedly witnessed Shar punch Nate Joslin in the face "with a closed fist while Joslin was not looking." Shaw claims to have intervened by "Schar was taken home, an investigation by the Elon Police Department showed that Shaw had acted in self-defense.

However, an investigation conducted by the university's Office of Student Conduct, Schar and Schar's mother, resulted in a yearlong suspension for Shaw while Schar allegedly received a lesser punishment of just one semester. Shaw was found "responsible for fighting or acts of aggression and disorderly conduct" within 17 minutes of his conduct hearing. Shaw appealed the decision but the disciplinary suspension was upheld by the appeal board. "Elon University breached its contractual promises by failing to follow its procedures as applied to Shaw," the lawsuit said, "including following the timeline that it established for investigating and adjudicating student conduct matters, considering all relevant and credible evidence, applying its procedures consistently, and adhering to its tenant of 'fairness for all.'"

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