Student organization plans to file a half dozen more sex abuse complaints against ASU

PHOENIX (KSAZ)As federal investigators are looking into how ASU handles sexual violence and misconduct complaints, some students claim the university is turning a blind eye to a culture of sexual misconduct at the Barrett Honors College.

The students say the problem goes beyond a couple professors sleeping with students. They go so far as to say it’s a way of life within the college, where faculty flirts, dates, gropes, and has sex with students without consequence.

One group is trying to change that they started a petition asking the university to fire the teachers who do this. That petition has received a lot of support so far with nearly a thousand students have already signed it.

Jasmine Lester founded the group Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault, she says professors continually get away with taking advantage of their students sexually.

She says her professor took advantage of her during a study abroad trip.

“She would go out drinking with all the students getting me drunk holding me up feeling me up,’ said Lester.

Lester launched the petition to put a stop to what she calls the rape culture at Barrett. Since then, more than 900 have signed it, and many women have come forward with their own stories.

She describes a situation one of her peers encountered. “she and her professor were in a relationship while she was a student in his class that’s where the power dynamic comes in he had control over her grades letters of recommendation scholarship letters etc.,” said Lester.

The woman told FOX 10 via email that “she felt like she owed him sexual favors in exchange for things like letters of recommendation and extensions on class assignments”.

That professor no longer teaches at ASU; he left suddenly, in the middle of the semester after the woman says she filed a sexual abuse complaint.

But in the end the students say their complaints are not taken seriously by administrators and in some cases even discouraged.

“She said when we think of sexual harassment were thinking more shove you up against the wall kind of thing because a lot of what I’ve been describing was emotional harassment that shed been putting me thru,” she said.

Lester says she wants professors to be held accountable and administrators to educate students about the different forms of sexual abuse.

They don’t say this is what consent is and this how power can compromise that and just so you know your professors might behave inappropriately with you its not just frat boys its also people in positions of power,” said Lester.

We asked ASU to address these specific claims, they would not. The university did issue a statement: “Arizona State University is a community where sexual misconduct is not tolerated. The university has policies and procedures in place to handle such matters. We take all sexual misconduct complaints very seriously, thoroughly investigate them and deliver swift and appropriate punishment if violations are found”.

The group, Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault is preparing to file a half dozen more complaints about sexually abusive professors with the university.

 

No, the problem isn’t limited to frat boys. Unfortunately, the problem with people behaving inappropriately very much includes people in positions of power, some of which are employed by ASUPD. As mentioned on The Integrity Report previously, a former Assistant Chief (who is still employed by the university in a different capacity) was allowed to retire before the conclusion of his sexual harassment investigation against another employee was finished. This person STILL has access to the police department building (and the same female employees who worked around him before) even though he does not work at ASUPD anymore!
What about the lack of an appropriate punishment for an officer who majorly mishandled a sexual assault case, and who was later allowed to train several NEW employees?
Or the chronic underreporting and reclassifying of sexual abuse cases under the Clery Act? These situations represent only a few of MANY situations where university officials (in this case, ASUPD Chief Pickens and his illustrious Command staff) failed to respond appropriately to rectify these problems.
The university administration does NOT take complaints of any nature–be it sexual abuse, harassment, bullying, etc–against a member of faculty or staff seriously at all. The ASU approach to handing complaints lodged against faculty/staff/administrators is to discredit the individual making the complaint, labeling him/her “disgruntled” or “angry”, only to going through the motions of making it look like the university has done their due diligence in investigation the claim. However, if the issue at hand causes the university to look bad (and subsequently lose money), only then can a complainant expect some resolution or action on behalf of the university, This is apparent with ASU’s half-assed resolution to Ms. Lester’s situation, as well as ASU HR’s failure to properly investigate complaints against the police department.
We are hoping the additional sex abuse complaints will place additional heat on the university, eventually forcing out all the ASU administrators who failed to respond to this situations appropriately. Hang on, folks; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
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11 thoughts on “Student organization plans to file a half dozen more sex abuse complaints against ASU

  1. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    Was there alcohol involved? That’s always been the big question. When the answer is yes the attitude is why bother investigating something that the county attorney won’t prosecute on. Current commanders, sergeants, had this attitude when they were on patrol and have passed it on.

    I don’t agree with it but it’s there. When you have nobody on patrol a call like this hobbles the department, but it should be priority over our department’s single minded focus on traffic stops, property crimes, and marijuana smoking in parking lots.

  2. Captain Obvious says:

    Of course they will file more complaints, they are sick of being told their victimization doesn’t matter. The university wants to brush everything under the rug, keep it under wraps, and see no evil, hear no evil. How they can turn a blind eye to these issues I don’t understand.

  3. DL500unit says:

    Good. Anyone in a publicly funded position who turns their back on issues like this doesn’t deserve to have a job.

  4. guerriero says:

    You have to wonder if the people allowing this to happen have any children of their own. Do they and what is their relationship with them?

  5. yurhuckleberry says:

    They need to reach out to everyone there that has a story to tell it and report it federally. Once the federal government is involved reach out to the heads of state government. They need to work together and be a support group for one another and organize.

    Put together a petition to hold the responsible parties responsible, if those people are at ASU, call for their resignation or termination. Go to investigative reporters in the media. The university won’t take any proactive action on it’s own.

    It’s up to these women to put an end to the cycle of victimization before it repeats class after class. They will count on you burying this, giving up, so don’t give up. Don’t let this happen to another person and let your fight become a defining moment in your lives that you will be proud of.

    • indeedYOUsay says:

      That sounds like a good plan. Their university won’t support them, our police department has a lot of work to do on the criminal side of these issues, so what other choice do they have?

      They need to organize and nail the people responsible for not doing their job when they had a duty to take action. Sue the university, sue the individuals in civil court, communicate with the media and don’t take any hush money. That will send the right message.

  6. popo39machine says:

    Do it, maybe someone will start taking responsibility for the welfare of the students once their feet are put to the fire. Use social media to get the word out and organize.

  7. WheresMy907 says:

    All of this would be unnecessary if the university administration just did what they are supposed to do instead of brushing everything aside and ignoring it.

  8. 311 says:

    It’s sad to see that these young women, barely of age, came to their elders, protectors, and were denied the service that was due to them. I hope they know that the people responsible for neglecting these issues are not the majority of society. Those responsible are institutional delinquents who lost the public trust through inaction.

    • BurningheapofFail says:

      I heard the chief lost yet another officer who made his year probation and flipped the bird. Now that you people made all these critiques about the department you realize the chief won’t make a single move in any of these directions simply out of spite.

      The Chief’s Advisory Board was a burning heap of fail. A minority of attendees had the balls to tell the truth and not play the emperor’s new clothes game. Any forward thinking plans were shot down because you simply have to acknowledge there’s a problem in order to fix it. You can’t be negative!

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