#JusticeForJazzy: UHart Student Taya Warner Explains What Happened

 

I was on Twitter when I heard the story of University of Hartford student Chennel "Jazzy" Rowe. After watching the now viral Facebook video (which Chennel has since posted on YouTube in hopes that more people will share her story) in which she described how her old roommate, Briana Brochu, dirtied her belongings with used feminine products and mixed moldy food into her facial products.

But, it turns out the situation runs deeper after we had the chance to get the story from University of Hartford student Taya Warner, a sophomore business marketing major.  Warner is currently involved in the efforts of #JusticeforJazzy. Here is what she said about the situation:

There's more to the situation than we thought. 

“Chennel was victimized since day one, Chennel was nothing but nice to her old roommate Briana Brochu, she shared her fridge, and her microwave with Briana. And Briana continued to show her nothing but disrespect,” Warner said. She constantly turned off the lights when Chennel was doing homework, she would use the fridge and microwave offered to Briana. However, there was so much more done behind her back that wasn’t brought to light until Chennel moved out of the room, after a month and a half of the constant disrespect.”

Warner went on to explain that the social media post from Brochu, who has now been expelled from UHart and faces charges for second-degree breach of peace and third-degree criminal mischief, was the tip of the iceberg of a long history of disrespect towards Rowe.

“When Chennel moved out, the neighbor Chennel was moving in with approached her with two Resident Assistants (RA’s) . The neighbor, whose name I don’t know, reported the post in which she saw the girl Briana post which explained everything Briana has done to Chennel, which included spitting in her coconut oil, putting rotten clam dip in her facial and body products, putting her toothbrush up her behind, and so much more.”

“All of these things were going on the entire time Chennel was sharing the dorm space with Briana,” Warner continued. "Although, Chennel was just aware of the social media post... it only opened her eyes to the other horrible things Brochu was doing behind her back such as licking her utensils, tampering with her makeup and smearing bloody, used tampons on Chennel’s bag-- a bag that Chennel used to keep on her bedpost near her head and face."

University of Hartford officials weren't much help at first.

“Chennel only turned to social media because she reported the incident to Public Safety as soon as this situation was brought to light, however P.S. didn’t report this to the president of the school for two weeks, and no actions were taken to getting the justice deserved for Chennel. Turning to social media was the best and smartest thing to do."

Students ultimately took matters into their own hands.

"Once the situation came about internationally, the very next day, the University of Hartford held a meeting called ‘#JusticeforJazzy’ which became a worldwide trend. At this meeting, the presidents of all the multicultural organizations, whom are also students, opened the meeting. First, they explained to the over capacitated room, that this meeting will not be to bash Caucasians or the University of Hartford, but to just discuss the incident that went and speak on the process to change and diverse the school as much as possible.

I used to feel the University of Hartford was a school that had something for everyone, but that clearly wasn’t the case. So many of our African American students have been victimized by the color of their skin, whether it was by our faculty or students our colored students do not always feel welcomed at this school. Questions were asked such as, ‘Why did P.S. take so long to tell the president about the incident?’, ‘Why is it that P.S. can run to a student’s dorm when there is a drug or alcohol issue but this took so long to be brought to everyone’s attention?’

A lot of the questions students, faculty, and alumni were asking [received] beat-around-the-bush answers from our president and the head of Public Safety. I personally felt their answers weren’t sincere nor the whole truth.”

How Chennel is moving forward:

"Chennel Rowe is handling this in legal terms as of now. The president offered Chennel free tuition and other services and help she will need to get through this. Chennel is not alone, with the entire African American community here at UHart we are with her every step of the way. Little steps are taken every day to show Chennel we got her back. For example, Hartford has come together along with a few directors of the NAACP this past Wednesday (November 8, 2017) and they hosted a rally."

 

The students of Howard University stand with Chennel Rowe and we hope she gets the justice she truly deserves.