On Tuesday, Feb. 23, UW student Jarred Ha — who has been on emergency suspension from the UW for over a year following an altercation with another student in January 2015 — was notified by the UW that his suspension has been lifted and he can once again step foot on the UW campus.
In January 2015, Ha and Graham Harper, another UW student, got into a fight that ended with Harper sustaining several stab wounds inflicted by Ha.
There are two versions of events, previously reported by The Seattle Times, that made their way to court. Ha’s version of the story has him in an argument with a female rugby player over a parking situation. According to Ha, the woman punched him and he swung out in self-defense as up to four women jumped after him. The fight then ended with Ha and a friend walking away before Harper came out of a house after the altercation was over. Harper chased Ha down and slammed him into a car repeatedly; Ha used a knife in self-defense, fearing for his life.
The major difference in Harper’s story is that his version has him present during the fight between Ha and the women. He claims that he stepped in to prevent further violence.
This is the story Harper is pursuing in a civil trial, which is still ongoing.
In his criminal trial, Ha was cleared of his assault. Because he was found using lawful force in self-defense, the court also found him eligible for reimbursement of legal fees, which amounted to just shy of $45,000, including representation fees, trial fees, and private investigation fees.
Ha has still not been readmitted to the Foster School of Business, where he was an accounting major. When his suspension was placed, he held junior class standing. The suspension prevented Ha from stepping foot on any part of the university’s campus.
For privacy reasons, the school did not tell Ha’s professors why he did not attend class for the rest of the quarter; at first, he received failing grades in all of his classes and was placed on academic probation.
“It was very scary,” Ha said. “All of my grades were just 0.0.”
This was later cleared after Ha applied for hardship withdrawal.
Ha was told that all he would need to do would be to reapply to the Foster School of Business to be reinstated and continue pursuing his accounting major. He is in the process of reapplying right now.
Representatives from the Foster School declined to give comment on Ha’s status. It is university policy that students who have not been continuously enrolled in a program are required to reapply.
“The vast majority of students who reapply are routinely re-admitted,” Norm Arkans, associate vice president of media relations and communications, said in an email. “When they do so, they resume their status as of the time they had stopped.”
Ha was not receiving any financial aid or scholarships at the time of his suspension, so his concern lies with getting his credits in order and being able to graduate sooner rather than later. Many of his friends from high school and younger have progressed with their education, leaving Ha a year behind his peers.
“[My friends] were with me this entire year,” Ha said. “They were all very supportive, helping with leads and talking to people. Just trying to help me out. They all came to my trial, too.”
Ha hopes to come back in spring quarter.
“It’s been a year since I was in school,” Ha said. “I guess I need to open up some accounting books and refresh. I’m excited.”
Harper is still on campus; neither he nor any of the other students involved, including the women, were ever suspended from the UW.
“[The UW] did make snap judgements,” Ha said. “But they are in the process of making it right.”
Graham Harper was unable to be reached for comment.
Reach reporter Madelyn Reese at email@example.com. Twitter: @MadelynGReese