Woman barred from college over legal charges

| 14/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island local news(CNS): Cassandra Bodden, who is facing firearms importation charges, says that despite her not guilty plea she has already been convicted by her college before a verdict has been delivered by a jury.  Bodden has received a letter from UCCI stating that she has been banned from the school campus while court proceedings continue. Bodden was recently tried in the Grand Court for the importation of firearms but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. As a result of the deadlock the judge declared a mistrial, forcing Bodden to appear before the courts again in August. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Since then, according to reports on News 27, Bodden has been told by UCCI she must finish her degree off campus. The president of the University, Roy Bodden, told News 27 that given the numerous incidents surrounding firearms in the community right now it was the right decision but provisions have been made for her to take her exams. Cassandra told the TV station that she was being treated like a criminal before the courts had decided her fate.

CNS Note: Only comments on the general principles involved here will be allowed, not ones on this case in particular.

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  1. A concerned young caymanian. says:

    For those people who can not seem to understand the article, it clearly states that Cassandra Bodden is NOT being denied an education. If anyone is familiar with the proceedings of any other school or company, you will find that any person who is charged with any serious offence are either suspended or even worse released from work or school, it is a common practice.  Cassandra could have been denied her education all together but she is still given the chance to get one IF she is found NOT guilty of her charges. So therefore many of you can not say that Cayman or UUCI does not care about Cayman’s youth. XXXXXX We have to take a stand at sometime to get back the old Cayman.

                                                                                                       

    XXXXXX Whether she is guilty or not, we as a community and a family have to take a stand against the gun and drug crimes.

     

    Also for the parent(s) of the young men, please please please take the time to sit down and talk to your child(s) about this kind of action and inform them of the better things in life, such as family, church, school, sports etc.

     

    A concerned young Caymanian.

     

  2. Ani Delleni chapter 2 says:

    I honestly don’t agree; I still believe she should not be banned from UCCI as she not on a scholarship and is paying for her education herself  so she should be able to continue to study and excel herself in her education.

    They haven’t charged her on any charges as yet so therefore she is innocent until she is proven guilty.

    They will always have a way to punish a CAYMANIAN BY BIRTH…but would warned a " status holder and or expat "  on any errors or mistakes they make and then they have nerve to say  all caymanians are lazy.

    No wonder why our crime rate is sky high because they always find a way to keep us down by any means possible…but I all I have to say is Mckeeva and the Government better wake up asap! and see which kettle pot is steaming and  had enough  years of being in hot water when it overheats its not gonna be a nice suprise… it’s really gonna be a reality dog eat dog supper war.

    Caymanians that want better in life always get the sh*t end of the stick…don’t they see and don’t they know?

    We want better in life, We want to be humble, We want our homeland back , We want PEACE!

    And all that has been taken away since our homeland is overflowing with xxxx expats!

    xxxxxx

  3. Joe Average says:

    We will have to wait and see if she was involved in importing a toy car loaded with guns and ammunition.  Until that time, she should be allowed to attend college.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good case for the proponents of Human Rights, good case to set a precedent.  Overseas news organizations, lawyer brave enought here is your chance to get your 15 minutes of international air time.

  5. Around & Around We Go..... says:

    Seems a bit late to take this action now seeing as how this has been going on over a year and they wait till now to do this?? If they wanted to be proactive about the matter then once it was made public about the charges she should have been advised that the schools policies are as such. Also you will be surprised of the amount of students that are in legal issues and are going to school everyday their so if this is a policy then what about the rest????? Also if the schools have had this policy in place then it’s fine to take such action but to do this with out any really rules or guides lines in place for such a matter is premature of them as they will leave them self open to legal action.

     

    Again this has been an on going case for over a year. And if are they just now thinking she should be separated from the rest of the campus someone fell asleep at the wheel for a long time…..  So in my opinion this looks twice as bad on the school if it toke this long to be enforced.. And if they were waiting on the out come of the trial well guess what legally she is still innocent and they should not revoke her right to continue what she has been doing for the last year…

     

    I am all for what is right but making upthe rules as you go to fit their own means or for political points and then taking action as such is a far cry from moving forwarded and getting positive change….

     

     

  6. Glass Pipe Gary says:

    Mr. Bodden would do well to ban access to the facility to those driving cars lower than 8 inches above the ground and those insistant upon making inane amounts of noise from their mufflers on their way to and from "School" instead.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well she has one thing against her she is caymanian.  In cayman we have two standards there is the one for the caymanian and the other for the expat.  If you are a caymanian and did somethig wrong in your life you are branded forever by employers etc and  a second chance what’s that!!!!

    However, If you are an expat you are afforded all the opportunities even is you did us wrong (SPIT).  In fact they hire you again.  When caymanians say they have degrees you have to give them copies but when you are an expat and say you have degrees no questions are asked your word is the bible.

    As they little saying goes if you are an expat welcome back if youa re caymanian sit in the back.

    Wow not even first in your own country!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Cassandra, I feel that this should be a legal matter taken up with your lawer to sue the University as they have not stipulated in their handbook that a person undergoing current legal convictions cannot attend class.

    This is absurd!!

  9. Shock and Awe says:

    Where in the world is…… Hassan Syed?   The fake Phd., con artist, and former head of UCCI.

    This is not a board game.

    What happened to him?  Where is the money he embezzled?

    Is anyone looking for him?

    CNS:  What is the progress on that investigation?

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    UCCI should get sued for this!

  11. Anonymous says:

    like the saying goes you dont know what it feels like until you walk the path.

    everyone here in cayman talk about they dont mind the if the police stop them but the first they stopped with guns in they face all you will here is police harrasment or there children. the double standard has to stop I someone rich gets in trouble you never here anything about it if they a mla they call everything goes away,but if you come from a poor family if you get arestted for anything guilty stop judging people before knowing the facts

  12. Da Bracstter says:

    I agree with this stance that UCCI is taking however the double standards that exist in this country are unreal. Yet foreign nationals convicted and charged overseas who we know nothing about can come here and work in Security & Law enforcement positions and attend also UCCI. Look at Government and some of these political parties who have foreign and local convicted felons or persons employed doing or involved with government funded and related duties and projects WHAT ABOUT THEM! Caymanians should all understand that they are now facing the hostility of this foreigner run Island. What a really  sad state this island is in.

    • Pending says:

      More backwards thinking from the Bluff, getting to much sun over there?

    • Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

      Foriegn nationals that come to Cayman to work, have to get a clean record from the police to get a work permit. As well as an AIDS and syphillis test, etc.

       

  13. Ani Delleni says:

    I don’t think UCCI…should ban her from her education and  especially trying to make to something of her self.

    However theyshould limit her access on campus but thats about it because on the other hand we wouldn’t need anymore scandals happening at  UCCI… it’s the only well-known educational institute that is on our island that mojority of the caymanians attend!

    I also would like to say : Ms.Bodden maybe guilty as well as she may not be guilty however she should not treated like a criminal.

    Everyone deserves to be treated the same and not lesser than anyone else.

    I’m hoping she is innocent and can eventually be treated the same in time to come.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      In response to Ani Delleni, did you not see that they didnt band her from her education. They banned her from taking classes at the campus. If you listened it said that the correct procedures will be taken for her to take her exams etc. How is that banning her from her education? The UCCI is doing the right thing! In a time like this with more cases regarding firearms, which organizations wouldn’t protect themselves! Come on…let’s be real!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You people ask for change, and when you get it, it’s another story…!! make up your minds, the college did the right thing.

     
  15. EZBreeZee says:

    I am amazed at the backwards attitudes of the people commenting and those that give ‘thumbs down’ to comments ‘pro’ this young lady being allowed to attend classes.  Under the new constitution (that Mr Bodden should be aware of), you have the right to an education. Also this legal issue has been ongoing for over a year.  If the legal system was swift and just, then her education and vocation would not have to be on hold for a lengthy period of time. 

    Look at it from the point of view of an innocent being placed on trial, would you think that it is fair for your life to be placed on hold for over a year? This young lady is known by the community to be a hard worker, has represented her country in sports and is trying to keep her life together when most of us would be falling apart. It is such a shame to see such bias and rebuke when she has not been convicted of a crime (except in the court of public opinion).

    • Applause Please says:

      She has the right to an education.  Not the right to have it at UCCI.  Just because someone has a right doesn’t mean that any one organization, or even the government has to provide it.  What if a student had been charged with rape, murder, or assault.  Should they be allowed to attend classes?  If your daughter was going to school, would you want people like this attending class right beside her?  Rights come with certain costs, it sounds to me like UCCI has not denied her anything yet.  They have merely protected their campus.

    • Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

      Is the importance of one woman worth the safety fo all the other students?

      If and when she is cleared she will be happily allowed to return to UCCI

  16. Balanced View says:

     

    This is nothing new or strange. Campuses all across the developed world will suspend a student when they have been charged and on trial for a serious crimes.  Murder, rape, arms dealing, drug trafficking etc., are all serious crimes and I agree with the decision of UCCI.
     
    Furthermore, the college has NOT stopped her from pursuing her degree, the article clearly states that arrangements have been made for her to continue her studies off campus and sit exams etc.  For EVERY action there is an opposite and equal reaction.  I’m sure Cassandra Bodden is familiar with this scientific fact.
     
    If and when she is cleared of her charges (a mistrial doesn’t clear anyone of anything) then she will be allowed to go back and be apart of the campus community.  If she is found guilty she will serve her time and upon release her application –  if she decides to go back to college her application – will go before a special committee to review and based on the decision of the board at that time she will or will not be able to attend the campus.  That’s why ALL university application forms ask whether the applicant was ever convicted of any serious crimes i.e. felony.
     
    Frankly, this is NOT real news…
  17. Karla says:

    CONTRACT TERMINATED FOR GETTING SICK ON THE JOB???

    As as proud christian caymanian, nothing that happen here surprises me anymore. I think the young lady deserves to be given a chance to continue her studies and the UCCI’s reaction is much ado about nothing. Having said that I am more appalled and concerned at what happened at my cousin’s governement workplace, where one of her colleagues was recently diagnosed with cancer and they terminated his contract while he was on sick leave because of it. She said he did not even find out until he returned to work, only to be told that his services are no longer required.

    I am told that he is an expat and is fearful of being run out of the country if he goes public. I hope this is not true, because if it is, then it is a sad reflection of how low we have become as a society, not to mention that this certainly cannot be legal.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This does not make the school any safer, there are a lot of criminals on the UCCI campus but I guess what you dont know can’t hurt right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, the past president was a criminal and they did not know that until he ran away wirh hundreds of thousands dollars. But then again he is not a Caymanian and I suppose that makes it alright. Just another example that once you are a Caymanian in Cayman you don’t stand a chance.

  19. Kintaro says:

    Ah yes… finally, an example clearly displayed above.  

    Once you are convicted of an offence, be prepared to continue living the life of a convict. Once you are out, and say you have decided to change path in your walk through life, you want to get a job… you can’t have one. You want to continue school… you can’t do that. You want to move away and start over… wrong again… you can’t do that one either. So… you become and island boy/girl who simply tries to survive.

    How else would you make money to feed yourself and loved ones/young ones?

    But no.. not this case… she is charged of an offence, not convicted.  Convicted is when you have been proven guilty.  How can she be banned from school for this?  

    Cayman needs to wake up, clear dey eyes, and look in da mirror… 

  20. Thankful Again says:

    We pay to educate our inmates. 

    This young lady should not be shown a cold shoulder by UCCI.  She is innocent until proven guilty full stop. 

    I was roaring mad that anyone, much more, that a Caymanian would seek to import guns to this country.  I was very pleased that it was found by the authorities.  Howerevr, it is my view and opinion, the university call was off on this one. 

    The stature of the leading team at the college is higly respected by me.  I believe he could have rose to the occasion to challenge the mainstream on this and allowed the young lady to have her day in court while still embracing her educational pursuits.  Universities can be trend setters in communities.  They are known to be the conscience and  the voice of reason in communities.  It is a place of learning and students should be sheilded by the insitution all the time. 

    I recognize that the hype surrounding teh case could cause disruptions within the college amongst the pupils.  However, this would be normal for a bit.  A simple statement by the president to the students could have put it in check and help to refocus.  Simply reminding them why they were to the insitution – to learn full stop. 

    This young lady is caught up in a life issue.  A serios one no doubt.  But she has claimed her innocense.  She deserves her day in court.  She should not have to lost her right to an education before that day.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I believe a suspension during the trial process and pending judgment should be allowed.  This is not about treating her like a criminal before a verdict has been rendered, its about the school’s right to distance itself from the extra attention that will surely surround any student embroiled in such a case.

    On the flip side its a bit hypocritical to deny her education when convicts at northward are educated post-verdict and at our expense!

  22. Around & Around We Go..... says:

    This is the Cayman way of thinking.

    "You Are Guilty Till Proven Innocent"

    And the worst part is if you are found Innocent. You are still guilty in the eyes of most people. They convict you with out really knowing all the details….

    • Anonymous says:

      As a reply to "Around & Around We Go" yes there are some cases that in court if you are found innocent that on the outside people still see you as guilty. And sometimes thats not the worst part. What about those people that know they are guilty but had an extremely great lawyer and a easily convinced jury. Every innocent person is not INNOCENT…and something I think society outside knows more than ever gets into the court. Because no one opens their mouth as says anything!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is true in regards to the general public, but UCCI as an institution has a right to use its own policies to prohibit anyone from entering its premises or using its services once it is doing so in line with the law e.g. without physical force or discrimination or prejudice (i.e. they would treat anyone in this student’s situation the same). It is not about treating anyone  akin to a criminal or suggesting that because of the charges against her crime on campus will increase but rather sending a message of zero tolerance to students, faculty and the general public at large and also ensuring that its students and staff feel safe and protected whilst on its premises.

    • Anonymous says:

      "you are found Innocent."

      You are found "Not Guilty" not "Innocent". There is a large difference between the 2

  23. Pro Caymanian says:

    This is Firearm charges we are talking about, NOT a Traffic Offence. Let this be a lesson. UCCI did the right thing.

     

  24. Applause Please says:

    I believe approaches like this will help to send a message across the community.  Nobody has a right to be a customer of any establishment.  If she is found not guilty then she will be allowed to attend classes.  I think we need to remember that any organization can refuse service to individuals as long as it is not done discriminatorily. Businesses have the right to protect themselves just as individuals do. They even have more responsibility to protect other customers and employees.  You have to earn the privilege of being a customer.  I applaud Mr. Bodden’s focus on the safety of the students at UCCI.  With as much retribution and other crime that is going on, Mr. Bodden has a duty to protect students and faculty when they are under his watch.

  25. Anonymous says:

     UCCI is the last place that should be holding judgment on any body. The last president was a crook. Why ban a hard working Caymanian not yet found guilty. Too bad they can’t have a policy for MLA’s with criminal charges not being able to run or MLA’s without educational qualifications allowed to be in office. 

    THAT would be appropriate at this time.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So if you are accused of a crime you are not allowed to further your education! Even thou you have not been proven guilty! Lord help me to understand these hipocrates that run this Island! What does being charged with commiting this crime have to do with going to UCCI???? This Island needs a good old fashion house cleaning! XXXXX

    • ReadtheArtcileAgain says:

      To all the posters commenting on being denied an education:

       

      You clearly did not understand the information presented in the article. The young woman is being allowed to complete her program – just not on the physical campus. Get it now?

  27. Correct approach says:

    It is absolutely appropriate for employers or educational institutions to suspend individuals pending the determination of charges involving serious offences.

  28. Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

    Except UCCI si acting on heir own internal policies and not the Law

    Think about it, some one is facing trial over rape, UCCI doesn’t ban them during the trial as they have not been found guilty yet. They thern rape someone else on campus while awaiting trail, there would be a strong case fro UCCI to have acted in negligence.

    Frankly she ias only banned during the trial. Nearly all places will do the same. Look at teachers accused of misdeeds, they are immeadiatley suspended until the outcome of their court case.

     

  29. Anonymous says:

    That is how the law is here BACKWARDS!!!  The right way is innocent till proven guilty in the court of law.