CROSBY STUDENT CENTER, SPOKANE, WA – The morning of February 13, 2015 started out like any other for sophomore Michelle Hartwell. She went to class, ate breakfast, and headed to Crosby for socialization and studying. But she made one fatal mistake.
Hartwell was followed into the building by a tour group that morning. The group consisted of potential new students, each one more qualified than the next. The mixture of Gonzaga prospects had every ethnicity represented, seven states accounted for, and they had all scored 2300 or above on their SATs. Because of Hartwell, none of this mattered.
As she entered the building in a rush, she carelessly let the door close behind her, stopping the tour in its tracks. Immediately, Hartwell realized the mistake she made. In a frantic rush, she grabbed the handle and whipped the door open to try to recuperate her wrong. But it was too late.
“As soon as I realized that I forgot to hold the door for the people behind me, my life flashed before my eyes,” Hartwell said, fighting back tears, “God, if I could undo one thing in my life, it would be this. Nobody deserves what I put those people through. This will haunt me every day of my life.”
“We don’t mess around when it comes to holding doors,” said Dean of Student Life Ingrid Parson, “And regrettably Ms. Hartwell made a mistake that cannot be undone. It was my unfortunate decision to extinguish her opportunity to attend this university. We have a very strict moral code here that all students agree to in their acceptance of admission, and we absolutely do not want our reputation to be tarnished.”
Parson went on to say that Gonzaga will be pressing charges against Hartwell. If persecuted, she could be facing up to 7 years in prison.