College fair disrupted by high school fights

by Paul Mullin

Altercations between high school students brought an early end to Rider’s hosting of the National Hispanic College Fair (NHCF) in the Bart Luedeke Center’s Cavalla Room yesterday morning.

According to Rider Director of University Communications Dan Higgins, there were two separate incidents.

“[An incident occurred between] two male students, and was quickly separated, and similarly, there was an altercation between two girls of different high schools that was also broken up,” he said.

According to Higgins, the two male students were from West Trenton and Camden high schools, while the female students hailed from Asbury Park and Long Branch high schools.

Once the two situations had been managed, Higgins said, “all the parties involved were put back on their buses and returned to their high schools.”

The entire fair, which was scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., ended 20 minutes early, and there were no injuries as a result of the incidents, he said.

Rider was notified of the incident at 10:49 a.m. and officers from the Lawrence Township Police Department (LTPD) arrived at 10:56 a.m. in response to a 911 call, Higgins said.

The road outside of the BLC was lined with school buses that had come back to retrieve students and bring them back to their schools, as well as LTPD squad cars and one SUV from the K-9 Unit.

Staffers from NCHF organization kept students in the Cavalla Room until their school’s bus arrived. Students were also grouped in the BLC Theater and outside on the pavilion in front of the entrance to Cranberry’s.

Student employees from Rider Admissions were also on hand for the event, but were not involved in the post-altercation reorganization.

The event was just one of 22 such college fairs hosted by NCHF this fall. The earliest occurred on Thursday, Oct. 9, in Norcross, Ga., and the last will be held on Friday, Dec. 12, in Stockton, Calif.

Higgins said this was the second time Rider has hosted the NCHF.

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