Hazing ‘traditions’ and sexual assault plagued UCLA summer camp job, students say
By Nicole Gaudiano | August 22, 2016 | Updated: August 23, 2016 11:06pm
This photo provided by UCLA shows a male counselor on the first day of the summer camp, or “Crew.” Students at the university’s summer camp were told they could do or not do whatever they pleased for five days on their way to becoming counselors. (L.A. Daily News/Beth A. McIntosh)
It has been nearly 40 years since women in America were allowed to enter universities without fear of sexual assault, harassment and even hazing.
Until Tuesday, when the U.S. Department of Education said a Southern California college violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in the wake of a sexual assault accusation against a male student who was accused of making sexually lewd comments to a female student.
The university in question, UCLA, has faced a flurry of student lawsuits over the summer camp program that was run by the university’s counselor training company, Career Management Corp.
But in a filing, the government said that since 1998 “the university has not held student-initiated sexual harassment, discrimination and hazing to the same level or severity as [Title IX’s] non-academic standards” and that this action was necessary “to ensure compliance with federal anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.”
The university’s chancellor, Jack A. Weinstein, said his school, founded more than 200 years ago, is trying to repair its “deep wounds” and rebuild relationships with students and staff.
And the university’s Counseling and Testing Services director, Nancy Zduncek, and the head of the program, Michael A. Schachter, have been placed on leave.
UCLA Chancellor Jack A. Weinstein. (Michael Macor/Getty Images)
“This is not about sex, but about power and how to control it,” said Michael Rhee, an attorney who has represented several victims of sexual assault committed by camp counselors at UCLA’s summer camp.