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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA program assistant fired for inappropriate conduct with underage students

    Copy: http://www.honors.arizona.edu/future-students/summer-excellence

    A UA program assistant has been fired after officers from the University of Arizona Police Department received a report of possible sexual misconduct with underage students.

    Despite being asked to leave the program, the assistant, whose name was redacted in the report, was not arrested.

    On June 29, UAPD officers received a report that a program assistant with the UA Summer of Excellence Program was hosting extreme “truth or dare” sessions, including possible nudity with underage students in a campus basement.

    Part of the Honors College, the SOE program provides an opportunity for high-ability high school students to spend five weeks living in an honors residence hall on campus, while taking classes and participating in academic and social enrichment activities, according to its website.

    Upon receiving the report, officers met with the assistant and asked to speak with him in private, where an officer read the assistant his Miranda rights and explained they were investigating alleged “truth or dare” sessions.

    The assistant claimed there was no nudity or sexual conduct of any kind and that the gatherings were a way for students to get to know one another, according to the police report.

    However, upon speaking to the woman who reported the accusation, she informed police she had heard a rumor there were people wearing only boxer shorts, and that females were required to strip.

    She also said she heard a rumor that the door is barred when the parties occur, and all students involved swear an oath of secrecy, the report said.

    Upon interviewing several of the alleged party attendees, police found that consensual kissing had occurred, the door is often barred when parties occur and all students involved agree to secrecy.

    Four women reported consensual kissing during the game, and some reported that the assistant had made several comments regarding oral sex, though they did not report it actually occurring.

    The assistant was then asked to leave the program and referred to the Dean of Student’s Office.

    “When the officers went over there and conducted their investigation, they also met with the parents of all the affected victims, and what they did is they decided to handle in administratively,” said Sgt. Fil Barrera, public information officer for UAPD.

    When a victim is underage, police will include the victim’s parents in the prosecution process.
    In this case, the parents decided they were satisfied with the UA’s handling the situation, he said.

    Both the Dean of Student’s Office and Campus Health Services’ Oasis program provided outreach to everyone in the program, from staff members to student, to see if anyone had concerns or needed support, according to Patricia MacCorquodale, a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and dean of the Honor’s College.

    “…This is you know, an isolated incident of some inappropriate behavior,” MacCorquodale said. “It doesn’t really reflect the valuable experience that the students who’ve participated in the program and are participating in the program get.”

    The program is in its second session, and will continue with its remaining five assistants until August 7.

    “I think that everyone took the situation very seriously,” MacCorquodale said. “Each group that has been involved handled things to the best of their ability.”

    Follow the _Arizona Summer Wildcat online this week, for more updates and information._

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