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US: Gay student disciplined after roommate allegedly threatened him

Alex Worthley received letter saying he was partially to blame

A gay university student in Missouri was disciplined after his roommate allegedly threatened him. Credit:

A gay student at the University of Central Missouri says he received a disciplinary letter from his school after reporting that his roommate had allegedly threatened him with a knife and made anti-gay comments, Fox4 Kansas City reports. 

Freshman Alex Worthley, 18, alleges that his roommate, who had threatened him multiple times, had told him he doesn't like gay people and had asked school authorities not to assign him to a room with a gay student.

But the university housed the two in the same dorm room.

On one occasion, Worthley says, his roommate "flipped" on him when he asked that he turn down his music. 

"He's like, 'Yeah I do have a knife and I'll use it if I have to' . . . and that's when he repeated that, and then he's like, 'I don't like gay people,'" Worthley says.

Worthley reported the incident to student housing, and the two were given different rooms. But Worthley then received a disciplinary letter, reportedly similar to one his former roommate was given, which indicated that he was partially to blame for the situation.  

It reads in part, “There seems to be a strong possibility that some of your own actions and comments were part of the reason this situation escalated from jesting to threatening.”

Worthley says he was shocked to get the letter, saying it "made [him] feel like because I’m gay that it was my fault that those threats were made.” 

Worthley has filed an appeal with student housing, asking that the disciplinary letter be removed from his student file, according to the Fox4 report.

Asked to comment about the situation and the letter, university spokesman Jeff Murphy issued the following statement:

“Consistent with university policy, the Office of Student Housing does not make room assignments or reassignments based upon sexual orientation, race or other university protected status.”

The statement reads, “The university cannot comment on specific details regarding a conflict between students, but UCM takes seriously the process in handling such situations and in addressing student concerns, including communication procedures with those involved. We are confident in our existing procedures, but will review this matter, with a goal to make certain there is no misunderstanding about the roles everyone at the university plays in ensuring a positive, supportive campus environment.”