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Inflammatory sign gathers crowd in front of Student Union

Students+surround+UA+graduate+Dean+Frederick+Saxton+%E2%80%94+also+known+as+Brother+Dean+%E2%80%94+on+campus+on+April+22.+Dean+preached+his+controversial+beliefs+from+morning+until+late+afternoon.
Giacomo Cain
Students surround UA graduate Dean Frederick Saxton — also known as Brother Dean — on campus on April 22. Dean preached his controversial beliefs from morning until late afternoon.

Brother Dean Saxton, an individual who has previously been kicked off the University of Arizona campus for assaulting a student, sat outside the Administration building with a sign that said “Dressing immodestly is sin!” on one side and “Are you rape bait?” on the other side Monday morning.

As Saxton commented on girls’ outfits who walked by, calling them derogatory terms, a crowd gathered to ask questions and heckle him. This escalated to Saxton walking down the UA Mall and through the Student Union Memorial Center while being followed by this crowd, and resulted in police arrival at 12:45 p.m.

Saxton was also wearing a red shirt that said “women are property” on the front and “types of property: women, slaves, animals, cars, land, etc…” on the back.

Saxton is a repeat offender, a UA alumni who was arrested in 2016 for kicking a student and banned from campus for a year. He returned in 2017, with the same message that he brought to campus Monday

The police were called by several different members of the crowd and stayed in case the situation escalated and became violent. 

Saxton, however, claimed that he was not there to incite violence, saying he was there for attention.

In pursuit of this, he quoted the Bible and made derogatory comments about women, specifically those at UA.

“I’m reaching the scum of the U of A campus. That is who I’m trying to reach and that is who I am reaching,” Saxton said.

These derogatory comments, along with his shirt and sign, attracted a large number of enraged students. Community members of many different backgrounds and beliefs gathered to confront Saxton about his beliefs and contest the claims made on his sign.

“I don’t think that he should be here, and I think it’s just funny that no one agrees with him and he came here thinking that he was going to get his point across and the whole school has kind of come together trying to get him off campus,” said Madison Jerald, a student who had been challenging Saxton since the beginning of the day.

“The disrespect that he’s walking around with right now is insane,” said Lucaas Gonzalez, another student who had been adamantly challenging these beliefs. “The fact that he’s generalizing all of these girls, I’m not going to take that.”

However, freshman Zita Neo attempted a different tactic when she approached Saxton, trying to reason with him instead of combatting him directly. According to Neo, she brought up Matthew 5:28-29, which talks about lust in a different context than Saxton was discussing it.

“I brought up, if that’s what the Bible states, why is there such thing as ‘rape bait?’” Neo said. “He was a little bit receptive to that. I can understand why he’s not talking too much because he’s in a stressful situation, but he was receptive enough and he responded to what he could until he was interrupted.”

Even members of the Women and Gender Resource Center came down to observe the gathered crowd, bringing a speaker and playing music as they watched the escalation of this event. “We had students come into the center and tell us that they were sad because he called them a whore, so we figured we would come down and play music,” Angelina Fusitua, a member of the Women and Gender Resource Center, said. 

“We’re just here to make it clear that we don’t stand with this,” Fiona van Haren, another member of the WGRC, said. “There are people here who don’t agree with this.”

The general consensus, among the students and non-students who were there, was that Saxton was there for attention. He had a camera on his shirt for a video that he would put on the internet and, with the crowd he had gathered, he succeeded in getting said attention.

“The crowd could learn that nothing’s going to happen. The more attention we give him, that’s what he wants. It’s all rage bait,” Sophia Ferazani, another student who had been there for several hours, said.


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