Laura Dickinson's father speaks about E.M.U. firings

3:55 AM, Jul 17, 2007   |    comments
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HASTINGS - Three Eastern Michigan University Administrators including President John Fallon, have been forced out of their jobs. They were accused of covering up the rape and murder of student Laura Dickinson. In December, Dickinson's body was discovered in her dorm room. At the time, university officials said she died of natural causes. But in February, when another Eastern student was charged with murder, Dickinson's family and fellow students learned she had been raped and killed. Earlier this month a government review found Eastern Michigan violated federal law by not adequately informing the campus community. Fallon was fired by the EMU Board of Regents yesterday. And as of this afternoon, the Vice President of student affairs and public safety director no longer work at the university. When Laura Dickinson wasn't at school she would come home to spend time with her famiy and work in her father's coffee shop. At state grounds coffee shop news of John Fallon's firing spread fast but Laura's father says nothing will ever bring back his daughter. Bob Dickinson says, "happy about it..sad about it…i'll have to say neither." He's says he can't be happy that a man lost his job but Bob Dickinson says the firing of Eastern Michigan's President is something he expected, "The university taking responsibility for his actions…that's something that needed to happen." Dickinson says the university wasn't straightforward from the get-go, "We were told the night they found Laura that there was no foul play. Even when the medical examiner's report said foul-play suspected." And even with the dismissal of 3 Eastern officials, Dickinson says nothing can bring closure, "If it comes to a conviction of Orange Taylor, that's not going to bring Laura back." Now at the coffee shop where Laura spent her free time, is a collection of her hobby and the reminder that Dickinson will always miss having a complete family. "She was so much a part of it. She was the glue that held the other four parts of it together," says Dickinson. But while Dickinson and his family grieves he still hopes that good can come from his loss, "Our hope is that other universities, other associations like Eastern take a look at their policies and say, 'well, we have everything in place, or we need to make changes'. So that this kind of thing may not happen again." And you can physically see a somber realization of loss. Coffee mugs are for the regulars here at the Dickinson's coffee shop, with Laura's set aside. Bob dickinson says as time goes on he'll become more comfortable with students attending Eastern Michigan Univeristy. Until then, he gives them all some words of safety.

Nick Monacelli

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