Three Bradley University students convicted in January on manslaghter charges for the death of their friend will not be allowed to return to the college.
Three former Bradley University students convicted of manslaughter for a fatal college prank learned recently they would not be allowed to return to the college, a family member said.
Randy Crady said his son, David Crady, was all but promised by Alan Galsky, the associate provost of student affairs, that he wouldn’t have to reapply, just to go to Galsky’s office after he was to be released from jail and everything would be Okay.
That was one day before he and three others began serving a six-month jail sentence for the Aug. 12, 2007, death of their friend, Sheridan "Danny" Dahlquist.
"We even set up a date on July 19, three days after they got out (of jail) to go to Bradley and get their schedule," said Randy Crady.
That’s since apparently changed.
After making several inquiries to Bradley and reapplying on their son’s behalf, the Cradys were called last week to Galsky’s office. There, they were handed a two-sentence letter stating their son would not be allowed to return because he had violated school code, attributing the violation to Dahlquist’s death, although neither Galsky nor the letter didn’t elaborate further.
"I am embarrassed to say how my alma mater is treating these young men who need support," said Randy Crady, also a Bradley graduate. "They compounded punishment the court system has already given them."
Ron Mentgen, the father of Nicholas Mentgen, who along with Crady and Ryan Johnson, lived with Dahlquist, said his son feels "betrayed" by Bradley.
"He (Nicholas) wanted to go back to school in the fall and be able to finish up after he got out of jail. He was pretty much assured that," Ron Mentgen said.
Calls to Johnson’s family went unreturned on Monday, however, both the Mentgens and Cradys said Ryan Johnson also would not be allowed to return.
Galsky did not return calls for comment. Bradley spokeswoman Kath Conver said the university would not comment, citing privacy laws.
Crady, 20, Mentgen, 22, and Johnson, 22, all members of Bradley’s soccer team with Dahlquist, had been drinking with Dahlquist and friend Daniel Cox, 20. The friends had engaged in several pranks involving fireworks that culminated with two Roman candles being shoved underneath Dahlquist’s door and ignited. The others ran outside and only after seeing a glow in the upstairs bedroom did they realize something had gone wrong.
The friends tried to save Dahlquist, 19, but were driven away by intense heat. All four remain in jail.
After their guilty pleas in January, university President Joanne Glasser said no decision had been made regarding readmission into the university.
"We never abdicated any of our responsibilities or authority," she said then. "If and when they ever decide to enroll and if and when they are ever admitted, they still are subject to that . . . and they could be expelled."
Said Randy Crady: "He (Galsky) kept saying it was in the best interests of the students not to go back to school. They are taking away their support network, all their friends, and all he kept saying was ‘I think in the long term, you will see it is in their best interests.’ But he would not tell us how."
Ron Mentgen agrees Bradley has not fully explained their reasoning.
"The thing that is pretty amazing and shocking about the whole situation is if the other parents didn’t reapply for readmission, we probably would not know anything about this until the three students got out of jail," he said. "That’s the really sad part about it."
Andy Kravetz can be reached at (309) 686-3283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.