Hazing ‘traditions’ and sexual assault plagued UCLA summer camp job, students say
By The Associated Press
Posted: 01/22/2013 05:25:59 PM MST
Updated: 01/22/2013 07:05:20 PM MST
LOS ANGELES — A UCLA summer school, originally designed as an affordable, taxpayer-supported alternative to Ivy League schools for students and young professionals, came under fire Tuesday over the way it ran “hazing” activities in its dorms, and its treatment of students and young professionals who reported being sexually abused and harassed at the school’s three camp programs.
The university’s Office of the President condemned the summer school’s “traditions of sexual harrassment and assault” as part of an ongoing investigation, adding that the program also received “numerous complaints about inappropriate conduct” at its program for incoming freshmen.
The Office of the President referred the matter to the University Police Department, which would lead the investigation, according to university spokeswoman Linda Zingg.
The school had advertised that its camp for students from all ethnicities who had limited financial resources was “affordable” and was a “low-cost alternative to an expensive college.”
But the summer school’s website states that “even with a modest budget,” students at the school would be able to attend “hazing, initiation ceremonies and other forms of sexual harrassment.”
A parent of a high school student who attended camp out of state told The Los Angeles Times that a group of young boys from a local fraternity had forced sex on him and his friends, then left behind “potentially hazardous substances” in the boys’ dorm bathroom and the cafeteria.
The parent, who would only give his name as Greg, said the camp’s camp counselor, a former UCLA student who attended the school last spring, encouraged the boys to harass the parents of students with whom they were having sexual relations without disclosing that the student at the camp was his high school counselor.
Greg said he and his friends were not able to talk openly with the counselor about the incidents they had experienced.
“It was very hard for us to talk about it with him,” Greg said, because the counselor had been “a really good friend,” and had convinced them to attend the camp to “learn about each other.”
The school also had an “open admissions” policy, allowing students