On December 11, Jasmine Lester and Nicholas P. Mendoza attended a mandatory meeting with Arizona State University Chief of Human Resources, Kevin Salcido and HR legal partner Sylvester Simons. The meeting occurred because of comments Lester made at ASU’s LGBTQA Community Dialogue, where she suggested all ASU employees receive LGBTQA sensitivity training. She cited an incident when a professor (who happened to be the keynote speaker at the Dialogue) made inappropriate jokes and comments in class about Lester’s sexual orientation.
The conversation with Salcido then turned to the way ASU enables faculty who sexually harass and rape students, specifically professors leading Study Abroad trips at Barrett, The Honors College. Similar to the what we learned from the conversation with President Crow, the ASU administration seems more concerned with protecting itself than protecting students.
Jasmine Lester: Do you mind if I record this meeting?
Kevin Salcido: I don’t care. This is only going to take five minutes.
[13 minutes of discussing specific incident in Fall 2010 when Human Sexuality professor Lee Spencer tokenized Jasmine as a lesbian and joked that guys should ask her for a threesome.]
KS: I just wanted to understand what happened and see if there was a violation of any academic standards or of any policies having to do with harassment or things along those lines.
KS: So, that’s what I’m doing, I’m just trying to poke around a little bit.
KS: As a mentioned in my note, we try to take these things as seriously as we can.
KS: Because people shouldn’t have their academic careers derailed or upset because of an inappropriate comment.
JL: What does that mean, exactly?
KS: It means that students should be able to come over here and learn, and not have to worry about being singled out or intimidated or harassed by a faculty member. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but that’s what we’re investigating.
KS: Was that unclear somehow?
JL: I don’t know, I’ll think about it. I guess I’m interested in the difference in your reaction to my comments at the Dialogue vs. my comments in the State Press [ASU’s newspaper], where you wrote Nick [journalist] an email [opposing my quotes in the article about professors sexually harassing students]. I’m wondering what you can say about that, about how I wasn’t directly contacted about my comments in the State Press, but I was pulled into this meeting about my comments at the Dialogue.
KS: Which comments are you talking about?
JL: What do you mean?
KS: What I told Nick is that there were some things in the article that we had not heard from you here.
JL: Why wasn’t I ever contacted about that?
KS: Um. I don’t have an answer for that, to be honest with you.
KS: I don’t have that answer for you. I don’t know. I just didn’t.
KS: Any other questions?
JL: No. Do you have any questions, Nick?
Nicholas P. Mendoza: I was wondering a similar thing. This meeting [about Dr. Spencer] seemed really urgent, and the email to me, seemed…
KS: I think part of it, too, is context and setting. This was at an ASU campus at an ASU-sponsored organization. The other one was a quote in the newspaper.
NPM: Yeah, but the other one was also on ASU campus.
KS: Well, she–the comment was not made on ASU campus, was it?
JL: Does the State Press not count at ASU campus?
KS: Well, I’m saying in my mind the context was different here because this was at an ASU-sponsored function, with an ASU audience and an ASU panel. And you were directly implicating a faculty member with this allegation.
JL: Which is different from directly implicating a faculty member in the State Press?
KS: Did you directly implicate a specific faculty member in the article?
KS: Who did you name in the article?
JL: I didn’t name anyone.
Sylvester Simons: That would not be implicating.
JL: Got it. And should we wish to have a meeting with you to discuss that issue–I think in the email to him you mentioned that I could sign a consent form.
JL: What did you mean by that? I can sign a waiver and then you can say things to Nick? Is that what it was?
KS: I think–because, I know you [Nick] visited with Kamala Green [ASU’s Title IX Coordinator] and I know you asked her some specific questions about how she conducted the investigation [of Jasmine’s sexual harassment complaint against a professor].
NPM: But I knew that she couldn’t answer those.
KS: Because you didn’t have a release from [Jasmine].
NPM: Yeah, that was how I started the interview. I said that I knew [Kamala] couldn’t say anything specific and I wasn’t asking her to. My questions were more broad, about the processes and how they work. But Jasmine and I were both wondering what you could release [once she signs the waiver] and what you think it would prove wrong in the article.
KS: Again, without having the release signed I can’t specify any real details.
JL: How do I sign that release?
KS: I’ll have somebody draft something if you’re interested in signing it, and we could talk about the details.
JL: So if Nick wasn’t here, I would be able to talk to you about it? Is that sort of how it works?
KS: Yeah, because of the privacy issues involved.
JL: Could I have anyone else here?
KS: Once you sign a release, I don’t care. You can bring anybody. But I can’t discuss a private investigation [without a release] because you have protection under a variety of statutes.
NPM: Well, she’s here talking about it right now. But you’re saying you would feel more comfortable if she signed the release.
KS: The attorneys would feel more comfortable.
SS: It protects the University, and it protects her [Jasmine], too.
NPM: That makes sense.
SS: The other thing is, who is it that you would be looking to bring into another meeting?
JL: I don’t know. My parents. My lawyer.
KS: It’s your call. If you want, I can have somebody draft a release.
JL: Yeah, that would be good, just so that I have the option. Because I have a lot of questions about that investigation that I would really like to be able to talk to you about.
KS: That’s fair.
JL: And I would like to be able to have somebody else with me, so if you could draft that.
KS: Sure. Will do.
NPM: Another question I had really quickly, you said that Jasmine is a mandatory reporter as long as she’s an employee.
KS: Yes, she is an employee.
NPM: Does that include reporting on yourself?
JL: Or about situations that occurred when I was a student?
KS: I guess we could split hairs. But my point would be that when you are an employee of any organization, whether it be a university or wherever you might wind up working, and your employer asks you to participate in a company’s investigation, 99.9% of employers are gonna require you to participate.
JL: Just wondering.
KS: Yeah, I mean, I think had you still been a student when you made this comment… but you’re an employee now, and that changes the relationship.
NPM: But it’s also something that happened to her, not someone else. So, isn’t it a little gray then, is what you’re saying?
KS: I think the attorneys could hash it out. But as an employee, [Jasmine] made an allegation pertaining to another employee. Even though the alleged incident did not happen when she was an employee…
JL: I just wonder why your Office didn’t get involved when I was emailing back and forth with the Student Advocate and the Chair of the [Psych] department.
KS: On which topic?
JL: About Lee Spencer.
KS: Did you involve us?
JL: If [the faculty I emailed] are required to report things to you that they see going on, wouldn’t somebody be required to go to you and say, “Hey, this is happening.”
KS: That’s one of the reasons I wanted to discuss this with you because I wanted to see if there was a breakdown somewhere in the process.
JL: Got it. Okay.
KS: Because we were not aware of this until you made this comment.
JL: Oh. Okay.
NPM: Yeah, and it seems like Jasmine didn’t involve you the second time around, either. You chose to get involved.
JL: That’s because he said he didn’t know about it the first time that it happened.
NPM: Oh, okay.
KS: Okay, and we’re talking about the Lee situation.
JL & NPM: Yes.
KS: We weren’t aware of this until you raised the issue [at the Dialogue].
NPM: But she raised the issue three years ago.
JL: Well, I raised it more publicly this time.
SS: It sounds like you talked to other groups within the student circle…
JL: Not the student circle, it was faculty and administration (the student advocate).
SS: You talked to the chair, the student advocate.
JL: Yes, with Student Rights & Responsibilities.
SS: They might have interacted with the Provost’s office. We don’t know. But you have a lot of different groups that could have been involved–Student Affairs, student faculty…
JL: They’re not centralized? They don’t all talk to each other?
SS: Well, it depends. I don’t know the circumstances for this situation, which is, again, going back to where Kevin is saying: we don’t know what we don’t know.
NPM: It just seems odd that she would report it to someone at the University, in whatever capacity it was that she reported it to several people, and it wouldn’t get anywhere, but then three years later in a panel of mainly just students and administrators, then somehow it got somewhere. Not that there’s anything underhanded going on, it just seems a little inconsistent.
KS: I mean this is a big, complex, diffuse organization. And you know, organizations do not always behave perfectly. Had you raised an issue to an advisor and said, “The professor’s conduct towards me in this classroom was such that I felt I had to drop it….”
JL: Well, yeah, that’s what I said in the emails [to the Psychology Department].
KS: Yes, and that probably should have been elevated to some place somewhere.
JL: Do you want these emails, too?
KS: Sure. [Nick], you’re not reporting on this meeting, are you?
NPM: Eventually, maybe. But not any time soon. I’m sort of just chronicling how the university…
JL: My adventures with the ASU administration.
NPM: Essentially. And I can send you your quotes.
KS: Uh. Okay.
NPM: To make sure that you [approve].
KS: Okay. Because this was not intended to be a media event. She told me she was bringing a witness.
NPM: Which is what I am.
KS: You’re a witness who has access to the newspaper.
NPM: Like I said, I’m not going to go write an article about this meeting tomorrow. But it will be included in pieces about things that have happened.
KS: I’m going to hold you to [that you will run by me] any quotes or any information from this meeting.
NPM: Yeah, I’ve never had any problems with people I’ve written about being misquoted.
KS: Is there anything else we should discuss here? Are all of your questions answered?
JL: Beyond the consent waiver, I don’t have any other questions.
KS: Sly, you okay? Have any questions?
SS: I guess at the end, what is it that you’re looking for as an outcome from any of this?
JL: Well, I didn’t really intend to launch an investigation with the comment that I made [at the Dialogue]. Honestly, I just wanted to show the need for sensitivity training for professors so that stuff like what happened to me doesn’t happen to other students, so that professors know that even if you think you’re okay with a student and their sexual orientation, you shouldn’t tokenize them that way or invite people to have sex with them. I really hope that this could be a learning experience for everyone, for ASU to learn how to do better, because I’ve been treated really terribly by this administration, so I hope that by making my experiences public I can help to make those experiences fewer in the future.
NPM: I guess maybe this is for another meeting altogether, and I asked Kamala Green [Title IX Coordinator] the same question as far as something like this: when there is an investigation of a professor and he/she is not fired, it seems odd it would get to the point where, in Jasmine’s other investigation, that same professor is now leading another Study Abroad trip.
NPM: I get that maybe she was found to not be violation of any school policies, but at the same time it seems a little odd that she would be back on another trip, even after being accused of something.
JL: Or even after [I submitted] photographs of her drinking with me.
KS: Let me get the release so we can talk about that in more detail.
KS: You know, um, this is background, but, you know, we handle these complaints a lot. And we try to do complete investigations and we try to weigh the facts that we can prove and we try to weigh the credibility of all the parties involved in order to understand how we apply the policy to those events. And then we make a final decision, and I will tell you that when it comes to overt sexual behavior between faculty members and students, we have lost faculty members for that reason along the way.
JL: Then how would you have entire departments with very large fractions of faculty that still participate in that kind of activity?
KS: If that’s the case then we need to know about it.
JL: I’ve been trying to tell you guys about it for the last three years.
SS: You talked to one person.
JL: No, I’ve been talking to multiple people and Kamala Green for the last three years, I have notes from those meetings…
KS: Going back, I will say that people from Barrett [Honors College] have left Barrett for this type of activity.
JL: I know, I can think of one. And that person was gone because of me. I’m talking about other people in Barrett that I know of who led a trip last summer and molested people, I know two people who have molested people who are leading a trip next summer–
KS: Those are things we need to know about it.
JL: I’ve been trying to tell you and you haven’t listened, so that’s why I want to sign the waiver and talk about all the stuff that I’ve been through, my interactions with the Title IX Coordinator and Student Rights & Responsibilities–all the people who I thought would actually care about this who didn’t.
KS: If there are more faculty members there that are having sex with students, then we will find out and those people will be gone, too.
JL: Well, I hope so. It took 15 years to get rid of that one person, so…
KS: [ASU President] Dr. Crow’s rule is that whenever–I’ve been here for 7 years, okay?–And whenever we have come across a faculty member who was having sex with one of his students, that faculty member has been gone.
JL: But why did it take so long to get rid of the Barrett professor who was fired [August 2012]? It took 15 years.
KS: Well, I mean, organizations…
JL: People in his department knew what he was doing but they were afraid to say anything because they were afraid of losing their jobs for being whistleblowers.
SS: That would be part of the reason why it didn’t happen [quickly].
JL: And then when I raise the concerns, I become vilified by administration.
KS: I don’t think anyone vilified you.
JL: Yes, they did. I have evidence if you want to see it.
SS: But I’m saying, though, if that’s the case, it makes it very difficult for us to do something if someone’s not reporting it. You have to substantiate something before you go down the path of persecuting someone.
NPM: I don’t have any stake in this except telling the truth. And so when I go to people in Barrett and I say, “Oh, here’s this article I wrote,” without the professor’s name they could name the professor. And they could name other professors. It’s a joke in Barrett, to be honest. And this is with students and faculty that I’ve spoken with, [who] have said, “Yeah, this is happening but I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to lose my job.” And a lot of the students say, “I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to ruin my academic career.” And I’m saying, if I know about this and I’ve only been researching it for a couple of months, it seems like it should be common knowledge, so it seems like there’s some disconnect here.
KS: Are we being recorded still?
KS: I will say this, as the Chief HR Officer here, I wish I knew everything that happened in this organization. I don’t. But in the situation that happened in Barrett, once we were made aware of this faculty member that had sex with students, he was gone. Now, it’s unfortunate that it took a while for that to make it our way. Once it did, we acted swiftly. So, I wish I was omnipotent and I could tell you what was happening across this vast organization, but I’m not.
NPM: All I’m saying is if I can look into it–I’m not an HR person–and if I can look into it for a month and find multiple people, and people who I would say are credible sources, then it seems like it should be a little easier for you to do.
SS: That goes with your position [as a student journalist] and what you do.
NPM: I’m a reporter. I would be the worst person you could tell.
KS: I’m not talking about this specific situation. But you don’t know who has been investigated and who hasn’t, and you don’t know what the quality of evidence against them was or was not. It’s very likely, that as far as you know–
JL: So when you decide that a teacher who drank with students, “That’s okay, let’s send her on another trip Abroad with some more students.”
KS: As far as you know–
JL: As far as I know? I’ve got a picture, want to see?
KS: –they may have investigated everybody. But the evidence, you don’t make a termination decision unless you have hard, clear evidence about something.
JL: What, like a photo of her drinking with me? Do you want to see it?
KS: I’ve seen the picture.
JL: Oh. Okay.
NPM: How do you get hard evidence of someone who’s having sexual relations?
JL: Apparently this [picture] is not enough [evidence of inappropriate behavior]. Apparently this is appropriate activity to do with your students on Study Abroad trips.
KS: If you want to sign the release, we can talk about it.
JL: That’s cool. I’m just making sure I got it on the record that you approve of what she did and that you approve of sending her Abroad again.
SS: You’re putting words into his mouth now.
JL: Right, it’s just common sense, come on.
SS: No, this is not common sense and it’s not–
JL: I will sign a consent so we can have a meeting about it.
NPM: It just seems like there’s a big disconnect between what you’re saying and what is happening, to be honest.
SS: She just jumped from this being about a situation–first of all, we didn’t know about it. And no, I’ve never heard anything about it. I’ve had Barrett [students] for two of the five years I’ve been here, and I never heard anything about it from students or employees. In order for us to know about that, we have to have someone tell us. I don’t go into the buildings asking people, “What’s going on here? Tell me if there’s something happening.”
JL: People have been reporting it to Barrett.
SS: That’s you.
JL: [Other] people have been reporting it to Barrett. I’ve been talking about it for the last three years, last four years. But I’m waiting for the release, so that I can sign it and we can actually talk about it.
KS: Let me make a couple of points, so then we can talk about it. Hypothetically, a professor having a drink with a student is not a terminable offense. Okay?
NPM: Okay. That’s understandable.
KS: Having a drink with a student and having sex with a student are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I’m not saying that the first is forgivable, but I don’t think it’s terminable. That’s not a termination offense.
NPM: Okay. And a drink with an underage student?
JL: How about providing that student alcohol at her house in Tempe [Arizona]?
KS: Okay. Again, we’re going back into the investigation.
NPM: But having a drink with an underage student–
KS: Was she underage in Italy?
KS: Well I don’t know the laws of Italy. I’m just saying–
JL: We signed a waiver saying that we had to follow the [ASU Code of Conduct/American laws about drinking].
KS: We’re getting into the investigation.
NPM: Well I’m just saying, in general, students who go on Study Abroad trips sign a waiver [that] if you’re not 21 you’re not allowed to drink.
KS: Let’s go back to my premise here, okay? And that is, whenever we have found faculty members engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with students, that faculty member has been fired, whether we found out about it yesterday or whether it happened 14 years ago, whenever we have found it and whenever we have been able to prove it, which is the key.
JL: And that’s whenever you decide that you can prove it.
NPM: Yeah, what is the burden of proof? I guess that’s the next disconnect.
KS & SS: [Sigh]
NPM: I mean, are you asking for eye-witness proof, or he-said/she-said, where a professor’s testimony is going to outweigh the student’s?
KS: Not necessarily. Not necessarily.
NPM: What sort of proof are you looking for?
KS: Not speculation. Corroborating evidence. Emails. Text messages. Things along those lines.
KS: We don’t fire 15 or 20 employees based on an allegation. That’s not fair, either. But if somebody comes to me and says, “This professor’s been harassing me, and oh, by the way, here’s a text,” or “Here’s a picture that he sent me,” or “Here’s an email that he sent me,” or “Here’s a picture of him knocking on my front door,” then that escalates things. We don’t make those decisions lightly.
SS: Keep in mind that the rules of evidence aren’t the same as in a criminal court. They’re much broader. But at the same time, you have to have something more than just someone’s comments about what someone is doing, because you could be casting dispersions, making third-party comments about someone. Some of what I’m hearing [Jasmine] say seems to sound like third-party. So unless you were there physically as a witness, those kinds of things are gonna have an impact on what other additional information is required. I’m speaking both as an HR person who investigates this type of stuff, and also as someone who was, in a prior life, a police officer. So bare with me and understand that if there’s something going on and we can corroborate it to some degree, then that gives us a more tangible approach to dealing with the situation.
NPM: Which makes sense. It just seems, like I said, there is a disconnect. If I can go and ask a couple questions and get this huge storm of, “This is happening in Barrett” from alums, professors, current students, and former students, it seems like there is a disconnect between what you’re saying and what is actually happening. Because what does the corroboration take, then? 10, 20, 30 people? I mean, how many eye-witnesses do people have when they’re having sex?
JL: Or how about when professors know which types of students to choose [who are less likely to say anything]?
KS: I will say this, if we come across the allegation where someone has said, “That professor had sex with me or my friend or somebody I know of,” I need to know about that. That’s not your job as a reporter to report it. But you can tell people, “Well, you need to go talk to Human Resources,” because, again, we don’t have listening stations all across the campus.
NPM: No, I get that. But then it seems like then you go and read about an alum whose parents work here, who grew up in the community, who had a more than difficult time doing this [reporting sexual harassment in Barrett], and then you’re thinking to yourself, as a student, “Wait, do I really want to report this?” if this person went through all that? Their academic career might go down the drain.
JL: Everyone in Barrett knows that if you report it nothing will happen, so why do think anybody would come forward? They saw what happened to me. They saw what happened to other students. You can hide behind the law but there is still a problem. And so I really hope that from talking to you guys about this I can shed light on where, like you said before, there’s a breakdown in the system where people are falling through the cracks, where predators are hiding behind the law and using it to their advantage to keep their jobs and also keep preying on students. And so I hope that we can have some honest conversations about this and…
KS: If we still have a problem in Barrett, we will find it and we will fix that problem in Barrett.
JL: I wonder how long it will take. Because it took 15 years to get rid of one serial predator, there’s another serial predator still there, so I wonder just how long it will take. And I get very afraid when I see freshmen there and when I know that they’re going on Study Abroad trips with these predators…
NPM: I don’t think you guys aren’t doing your jobs and I’m not accusing you of anything. I just think there’s a big disconnect between what you’re saying and what’s happening, and I’m just trying to figure out the truth here. And it seems like there’s–
KS: I know that in the past few years we’ve done more things like training, anybody who goes Abroad I know that we conduct training. I know that we’ve put the faculty on notice, not only in Barrett, but at other Colleges as well, [about] what the standards of behavior are on Study Abroad.
JL: A serial predator in Barrett was molesting students this past summer, after going through all of those trainings…
KS: Okay, well, again I need to know the name.
JL: I’m sure you do. Kamala’s [Title IX] office was calling in [students], threatening them [not to file complaints].
KS: Who was it?
JL: I’m not going to say his name because I don’t want to be accused of slander or anything. But when we have our meeting and I sign the consent waiver we can talk about it because [his name] is included in my original complaint [that I submitted in May 2012].
KS: If I find out that this person that you’re talking about had sex with students…
JL: Yes, he did…
KS: That person will be fired.
JL: I will definitely work with you on that.
KS: I can guarantee you, because you know what? Like I said, I’ve been here seven years and I have never come across a situation where I, the Provost, or the President knew that a faculty member had sex with a student, when that faculty member was not fired. That is the honest-to-God truth, and it is the one rule that Dr. Crow will always enforce.
JL: Okay. But I can think of at least two right now.
KS: When we’re aware of it, and when we can prove it.
JL: I guess the part about proving it is where we’re stuck.
NPM: I talked to [President] Crow about it, and he said that to me, too: “You’re fired immediately.” But he also said that there needs to be evidence, which seems like where the disconnect is coming from.
SS: You can’t fire someone, though, without that. Anywhere.
NPM: And if students are scared and professors are scared to speak out–
SS: You still can’t terminate someone without evidence.
NPM: I get it.
JL: But what are you doing to fix the system so that you’re not protecting predators?
SS: The system fix, if you want an answer to that, is that students have to be comfortable enough to come up to us and tell us [that they are being sexually harassed by their professor]. Because we have to know.
JL: Who’s job is it to make sure students feel comfortable enough to come to you?
NPM: Or professors, because I have spoken to professors who are scared to report their colleagues.
JL: I think that it is the University’s job to make sure that people feel comfortable enough to report this stuff, and as it stands now, people are not comfortable.
KS: Well, in my mind, and I’m not making an derogatory remarks about anybody specifically, but if there is a member of the faculty–
NPM: There are several.
KS: And they know that this behavior is happening and they’re not bringing it forward, then they’re not satisfying their ethical duties to the university.
JL: Well, yeah, that’s why these professors are afraid to come forward or even talk to you about this because they’re afraid they’re gonna get, you know…
SS: If they come forward and tell us, I think that changes the game.
JL: Are they protected?
SS: It’s not about protection.
NPM: Well it’s about protection to them, it’s about protecting their jobs.
SS: Their jobs are not at risk if they’re telling the truth. There are specific federal and state laws against retaliatory actions by employers against employees who whistle-blow.
JL: I guess the issue would be what you consider evidence. So if somebody’s–
SS: It’s not what I consider evidence, it’s what in Civl Court is appropriate.
JL: And that’s what I’m saying: predators are hiding behind those laws, so I’m wondering what ASU’s doing to prevent that.
SS: We have to do what is in line with the Civil Laws. What we look at when we deal with these situations are what case precedent exists, and we have to follow those guidelines and precedent that has occurred in courtroom cases that kind of set the guidelines for this stuff, set the standard for it. That’s how a lot of the statutes at the federal level are passed.
KS: Yeah, so for example, we did the training that I talked about, and last year we did an online training module. All staff was required to go through it. Faculty were encouraged to go through it, so we had like 5 or 6 thousand people go through the online training.
JL: Faculty were encouraged?
KS: They were encouraged to go through it.
JL: Which means they didn’t have to.
KS: I think we said any faculty who supervises staff has to go through it.
NPM: I’ve taken that online training and I’ve had employees take it because I am an editor at the State Press, and there were jokes afterwards about how we just ran through the whole thing and didn’t have to essentially watch anything.
JL: Yeah, people mock that kind of stuff.
NPM: How certain can you be certain that anyone is getting anything out of those trainings?
KS: Absent me going and talking to all 90,000 full-time students/employees… We talk about it at New Employee Orientation and at Faculty Orientation. I think every faculty member here should know what the standards are.
JL: But I think that it would help if the guy who got fired [for sex with students at Barrett] got fired right when people knew what was going on and not 15 years later, because right now faculty see that they can get away with this and so they just keep doing it, even after all the “Dear Colleague” letters, after trainings and everything, it still is happening as recently as this past summer.
KS: And that’s why I need to know what’s happening.
JL: Students are being put at risk, they’re dropping out of school, they’re committing suicide, like… this is happening and you guys are hiding behind laws.
KS: Who’s committing suicide?
JL: Students who are victims.
KS: Who has committed suicide?
JL: I am not going to divulge the private information of students who are victims of sexual assault.
KS: You are saying that we have had students commit suicide in Barrett?
JL: I am saying that there have been victims of Barrett professors who have attempted suicide. That’s what I’m saying.
KS: You said committed suicide.
JL: There have been victims of professors and teachers who have committed suicide, yes. Like the high school student in Montana [for example].
KS: Let me give you some advice if you’d like.
KS: You can take it if you’d like, okay? When you overreach and resort to hyperbole, you damage your credibility, okay?
JL: I’m not trying to talk to you about credibility. I’m talking about a serious issue.
SS: You’ve been adding on situations.
JL: That’s because I’m trying to convey to you that this [Teacher/student rape culture] is a serious issue.
SS: I understand, but under the law–
JL: It is not about the law.
SS: It is about the law.
JL: You’re trying to tell me it’s hyperbole. It’s not. This is about people’s lives, okay? I know that you are bound by the law, I know that you can’t say certain things, I’m just saying this is a serious problem, and if I seem affected by it it’s because I am.
KS: Well let me make the point here, and then I have to move on, the Police Department’s here. I’ll make a couple points. And you can believe me or not, okay? The first one I’m going to reiterate, when we are of inappropriate sexual contact, the faculty member gets fired, okay? But we have to be made aware of it.
JL: And you have to have “proof,” or else you’re not “aware.”
NPM: That’s hyperbole right there.
SS: That’s not hyperbole.
KS: When we’re made aware, and we validate it, we can prove it–
NPM: When you say it like that it makes it seems like nobody’s made you aware.
SS: It has to be validated.
KS: Now, the other point I want to reiterate. I know you’re upset, I know you that you had a tough time at Barrett, I know that this thing has been traumatic for ya, but you have to be careful about overreaching and overstating your case because it damages your credibility. Okay? You can take that for what it’s worth. I had not met you yet. But what I see here is a young lady who has true empathy for her fellow students and wants the University to do the right thing, and I respect that and I’m glad that you’re doing that.
KS: See, now you’re dismissing me here.
JL: I’m not dismissing you.
SS: Yes, you are.
JL: I’m listening.
KS: You are [dismissing me]. So that was my coaching, and I need to go meet with the Police Department. It was nice meeting you guys. I’ll get the release drafted.
JL: Yeah, please.
JL: And if I could give you advice, I would say look into the federal laws that you are supposed to be upholding to protect students.
KS: That’s what the whole point of this meeting was.
JL: That’s not what you’re doing and that’s not what I got out of this meeting. So please, do better. That is your job.
Had a similar experience? Join our Title IX complaint. Email SunDevilsASA@gmail.com.