CMU suspends three students, identifies two others in connection to fires at end of spring semester

Five Central Michigan University students have been identified by the Office of Student Conduct in connection to the furniture and couch fires that rocked Mount Pleasant last May.

Three of those students have been suspended, and the other two students could face disciplinary action in the future.

Director of Student Conduct Tom Idema said he could not disclose the names of the students and other details related to the suspensions because they are protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Idema said his office has worked closely with the Mount Pleasant Police Department and other law enforcement authorities in investigating the fires and any student connections.

"We've had a great working relationship with law enforcement authorities in the community," Idema said. "We're all a part of a community, and we all want to do our part to make sure it is safe."

Between April 28 and May 5, 32 furniture and dumpster fires burned in Mount Pleasant as the spring semester came to an end. An up-to $5,000 reward was offered by the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee for anyone with tips that could lead to the arrest of any suspects.

It is unclear if these five students or others have been arrested in connection to the fires. Calls placed to MPPD Tuesday afternoon have not been returned.

Idema said it should be "common sense" not to light furniture or dumpsters on fire as a student.

"We all want to see students complete their classes and graduate," Idema said. "But these are things we don't want to see in the future."

He said the university is still looking into other possible cases related to CMU students and his office will act should they be made aware of them.

The fires took place throughout the city, including four dumpster fires at Lexington Ridge Apartments, 3700 E. Deerfield Road, and furniture fires on Main Street, Franklin Street and at the Jamestown and Deerfield Village apartment complexes.


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