#JusticeforJazzy: UHart Undergrad vs. Roommate from Hell


Everyone has had to deal with their roommate’s  weird quirks. Maybe they snore or have weird tastes in music or doesn’t speak much unless spoken. But what if they were racist?

University of Hartford freshman, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe knew that there was tension between her and her roommate but no one ever expected things to reach this point. Jazzy took to Facebook to share her story.

In her video, she told the horrors of her roommate assignment. She felt “unwanted in her own room” and she was constantly disrespected. For instance, if Jazzy would be doing homework in the room, her roommate, whose name is Brianna Brochu, would enter the room simply to turn off the light and walk out. Not wanting to cause any waves, Jazzy would take the occurrence in stride and turn on her desk lamp, continuing her work. But the worst was yet to come. 

Jazzy started to feel sick over the course of the first few weeks of the semester. Given the fact that she doesn’t hail from the state of Connecticut, she just figured that it was just her body adjusting to the colder temperatures. The pain started in her throat, which she claims is where all of her colds start so she didn’t think anything of it. But when she didn’t get the actual cold and the throat pain was not showing any signs of letting up, Jazzy knew something was wrong.

Her throat was causing her so much pain that she couldn’t speak normally so she decided to go to the on-campus health clinic. They ran three tests, all of which came back negative, but it was known that there was some severe bacteria in her throat which was causing the pain. It was then that Jazzy knew she had to move out.

Jazzy was “existing for once” since she had moved into the dorm in August. Her roommate was just as happy to see her go but for different reasons. Brochu took to Instagram to brag about finally being rid of the “Jamaican Barbie” and all of the things that she had done to make it happen. 

She would post videos on various social media platforms with captions like “If only she knew where her utensils have been.” The blood from the tampons was all over the front flap of Jazzy’s backpack, which hung from a post on her bed. Public safety removed the bag from Jazzy’s room as a health hazard.

The residential life staff have Jazzy fill out a no-contact agreement but her residency was also threatened. She was told not to speak further on the incident or else she would not be allowed to live in housing on campus.

At this point, the investigation at a standstill.

Naturally, Jazzy’s story has gone viral with #JusticeforJazzy. Professors and peers alike have been following the case closely but nothing else could be done until Public Safety concluded the investigation. Thousands of Twitter users from around the country have been showing support for Jazzy and urging the president of the university to investigate this further.

My heart goes out to Jazzy. Especially as a freshman, no one expects to have to deal anything to this magnitude but to bring race into this makes this even more of a problem. Young African-American adults should not be punished for wanting to further their education and putting all political-correctness aside, none of this would be happening if the roles were reversed! God forbid this were to happen to someone of the Caucasian descent, all hell would break loose. In this occurrence alone there were so many criminal acts committed but yet the university did not take action until they were thrown into the fire.

Brianna Brochu has since been expelled from the University of Hartford but she has only been charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace, both of which are only misdemeanors. The case has been assigned to community court which means that the most punishment she will receive is having to write a letter of apology to Jazzy or possibly have to commit to community service. It is to the judge’s discretion that they will decide to move the case into a higher court and Jazzy can press actual charges.

After all that has happened, we will get justice for Jazzy!