Nearly every student who has ever lived on campus while attending university has inevitably been faced with a difficult roommate throughout their formative college years. While universities attempt to match students with roommates whom they share commonalities with, in spite of their best efforts, it isn’t uncommon for students to be paired with people who they don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with. When faced with this challenge, some students attempt to stay out of their dorm as much as possible, while others request a room change. One University of Hartford student, however, went to the extreme when matched with a roommate she wasn’t particularly fond of.
18-year-old Brianna R. Brochu was placed under arrest after admitting to police that she had been tampering with her roommate’s personal items. Brochu’s roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, requested a room change after she reported feeling “ostracized” by Brochu. When Rowe’s request for a room change had been honored, Brochu took to Instagram to report her victory. She wrote in the now deleted post, “Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 ½ month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions… putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”
Brochu later told police that she had routinely licked Rowe’s eating utensils and at one point had smeared menstrual fluid on Rowe’s backpack. According to Rowe, the other items she claimed she had tampered with on social media was all fabricated in an attempt to be “funny.”
Brochu claimed that prior to tampering with her roommate’s personal items she had also filed a room change request that was subsequently denied. Brochu claims that she “began to lash out due to a ‘hostile environment’ caused by [the victim’s] rude behavior, not compromising, and posting Snapchat videos of me sleeping and making fun of me snoring.”
While Brochu claims that her behavior was a direct result of the rude behavior displayed by Rowe, many are not seeing the situation in the same light. After the story broke, droves of individuals took to Twitter to express their outrage over the situation under the hashtag #justiceforjazzy, accusing Brochu of committing a hate crime.
Upon learning of Brochu’s grotesque actions, a spokesperson for the University of Hartford says they immediately began investigating the issue. The official statement from University President Greg Woodward goes on to say, “We will continue to offer support and assistance to her [Rowe], as well as any other student that feels threatened, victimized, or uncomfortable on our campus. Let me repeat; racism and hatred will not be tolerated on this campus. Period. I encourage every one of you reading this email to report incidents on campus that are troubling and worthy of review.”
Brochu has since been dismissed from the university, with a campus court ordering that Brochu is to stay off of campus property and is hereby prohibited from contacting her former roommate.
Rowe later took to Facebook to tell her side of the story. She claims that Brochu’s passive aggressive actions may have been the cause of a lengthy illness that later resulted in her losing her voice. Rowe also claimed that the university attempted to sweep the case under the rug in hopes that “the situation disappeared.”
After the public backlash over the incident, in addition to third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace charges, Brochu is now facing the possibility of charges related to committing a hate crime.