A few weeks ago, the hashtag #JusticeForJazzy went trending on my Twitter timeline. When I looked into it, I discovered it referred to Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, a freshman at the University of Hartford who was going public about her experience with her former roommate Brianna Rae Brochu.
In case you haven’t heard the story, Rowe was terrorized by Brochu in many inhumane ways. Secretly sabotaging everyday utilities of hers and more in hopes to drive Rowe away as a roommate.
There’s proof of the terror. Brochu posted some choice words about her now-former roommate on Instagram: “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, rubbing used tampons on her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”
Brochu has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief, breach of peace, hate crime, and intimidation based on bigotry or bias.
Behavior like this is hard for me to imagine. At SLA, we’re taught to treat each other like family when we’re here, but in the real world that isn’t the case.
What’s worse is that this incident between the two women is racially motivated. Rowe is African American and Brochu is Caucasian. This incident upsets regardless of race but being African American, the racial slur “Jamaican Barbie” just disappoints me. Yeah, Brochu has been arrested but Rowe will forever remember and be impacted by this experience.
The real justice in this situation would be the elimination of discrimination. You can’t tell people what to think or how to view others but I think a speech with incoming freshmen each year emphasizing the importance of acceptance and reality of discrimination in today’s reality. I’ll never understand how people can hate/dislike others because the color of their skin, cultural background, nor sexuality.
I’m currently a senior — and applying to colleges. Living with a stranger is as weird to me as it sounds. My roommate and I don’t have to be the best of friends but being that we have to live together I’d like us to be on good terms and get along.
This horror story got me thinking: what kind of background would my roommate have? Some schools I’ve applied to include: Temple University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Delaware State University. According to collegefactual.com, Temple’s overall diversity rank is 203 out of 2,475. Here’s the racial breakdown:
This is interesting because a single race takes up more than half the population of undergraduate students at Temple University. As an African-American, this makes me feel even more like a minority.
When it comes to having roommates I wish there was some sort of questionnaire process that matches people together based on their personality. A simple google form with a set of traits listed as a multiple choice question saying “pick three traits you would like to see in your roommate,” and another question with the same set of traits saying “pick three traits that you possess.”
Have a person (or people, depending on the size of the school) go through the answers and create a google spreadsheet where the pairs of roommates will be chosen and listed based upon the responses.
Now, I’m not saying that this will eliminate the possibilities of having a “bad roommate” but it could potentially decrease the odds of something like this happening.
To prevent things like these, having appropriate consequences for specific behaviors could help. As for schools ending truly bad behavior among their students, no solution comes to mind that isn’t already common knowledge.