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Morgan State to add officers, require conflict-resolution training after campus violence

Morgan State University President David Wilson announced Wednesday the school would add police officers, increase the punishment for fighting and require students to undergo conflict resolution training in the wake of three recent violent incidents on campus, the latest a stabbing that left three students injured Tuesday.

Morgan State University President David Wilson said Wednesday that the school would hire more police officers, increase the punishment for fighting and require students to undergo conflict resolution training following three recent violent incidents on campus, the latest a fight that left three students injured Tuesday.

The university will bolster its 30-officer police force with 10 new officers — six to be hired immediately and another four by the end of the fall semester, Wilson said.

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Any student caught fighting will be suspended from campus housing under a new "zero tolerance" policy, he said, and starting in the fall, all incoming students will be required to take an online training about how to de-escalate fights before they begin.

"We at Morgan have high standards for character and behavior, and we expect everyone within our community to meet and exceed these standards," Wilson wrote in a campuswide letter.

Wilson said the steps came out of a discussion Tuesday evening with students at the University Student Center after two students were stabbed and a third was injured Tuesday on campus.

Carlos Mars, a 19-year-old sophomore from District Heights in Prince George's County, was arrested on assault and weapons charges.

Police say Mars swung a pocket knife to keep onlookers from intervening in a fight between his friend and another person. In a report, police said Mars stabbed one student "multiple times," and "attacked [name redacted] with the pocket knife, striking him repeatedly and aggressively cutting him across the chest and torso," the report said.

No one answered at a phone number listed for Mars' home in District Heights Wednesday.

One of the victims, who was stabbed in the chest and taken to a hospital in very serious condition, was upgraded to "fair but guarded" condition Wednesday.

The second victim was stabbed in the back and buttocks, police said.

Officials initially said three victims were stabbed, but on Wednesday revised that to say a third man suffered abrasions but had not been stabbed.

Police and Morgan State also initially identified all three as football players, but university spokesman Clint Coleman said Wednesday that the victim stabbed in the chest was a former player, the one stabbed in the back and buttocks was a walk-on team member and the one with abrasions was not a football player.

The second and third victims were treated and released, Coleman said. He declined to identify any of the victims because of "privacy concerns."

Police said the attack grew out of a dispute between two groups. Coleman said several persons of interest were detained for interviews.

The other two violent incidents took place Friday. The first involved a male student stabbing his roommate Friday with scissors in a university dormitory after an argument over the cleanliness of their room.

Police were called Friday night after fights broke out at a campus dance that drew 1,200 people. The on-campus party, sponsored by the student government and Greek organizations, was the first since a moratorium was placed on such events a year ago, in part because of previous violence.

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Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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