Hazing ‘traditions’ and sexual assault plagued UCLA summer camp job, students say | Editorial
Students of the University of California, Los Angeles, who were subjected to a “tradition” of rape-like assaults during the summer of 2016, recently sued their school after they say they faced a culture of terror that culminated in a campus police investigation of what they had been told was “hazing.”
As part of the larger fight to end sexual assault on campus, the lawsuit was the first of its kind in the nation, and it is the first lawsuit that has alleged that college’s campus hooning practices actually have been a threat.
“I was just in a state of mind that I didn’t know how I was going to deal with what was happening when it happened to me,” said one of the plaintiffs, who requested anonymity in the lawsuit. “I was just in a state of shock.”
UCLA announced recently that it will end the college’s hazing program, which it described as an “inappropriate form of hazing.” The program was designed to teach and train the young men from the school’s football and men’s basketball teams how to handle students who were drunk or acting in a way that would be considered sexual assault.
It has been nearly two years since the alleged assaults began, as students say they were subjected to the trauma of being raped in full view of both police and fellow students.
The students also allege that the school did not address the behavior of the program’s leaders and that it failed to stop it as it was occurring.
The plaintiffs say that they faced discrimination and harassment after leaving the campus, and that a UCLA police officer found them a job in the “hazing” program after a student reported them as a sexual offender. They also say that when they attempted to report the behavior of the program’s leaders to the school, they were told they did not have an “incident” and that they should not report a crime.
The plaintiffs include a graduate of the program who was assaulted by students from the program and a graduate student who was assaulted by two students from the program. Several current students, including two student athletes who took part, said they were also sexually assaulted.