End Verbal Harassment on Campus

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Created by: Cassie Moser and Yasmeen Shrestha

Effective April 11, 2018

We, the students of the University of Arizona, encourage and demand our institution to protect us, from sexual, racial, religious, and all other forms of discrimination that we have been subjected to on campus. Non-students have intruded our safe-space on campus and their words have transformed from offensive protected language into verbal, sexual, and racial harassment creating a hostile environment for those pursuing their education.

Brother Dean and other individuals have been “preaching” in the middle of our campus for years now. His “sermons” began simply as offensive speech about how many students will be receiving one way tickets to hell. However, more recently, he and his associates have begun targeting students directly- largely women and students of ethnic origins. Their verbal assaults of the students of this institution are prohibited under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (hereinafter Title IX).

Though Brother Dean and his associates claim to be preaching the word of God, there have been several occasions that prompted religious deliberation with students. These deliberations quickly turn into harassment especially for the students that disclose they are of the Muslim religion. This verbal harassment has included accusations of students being terrorists, female students asking to be raped by the look of their clothing, etc.

More recently, their topic has focused on preaching the idea that women are property. Addressing women as “it” and asking “where is your owner” are the tip of the iceberg for this frame of harassment. Discouraging the women at this institution that are pursuing degrees by telling them to “go back to the kitchen” is clearly violative of Title IX. Apart from this, these individuals have racially attacked students by using racial slurs as well as insinuating lynchings or suicides by declaring they would purchase the “noose” for students.

An initial response to “simply ignore them” is no longer an acceptable solution. Students are being verbally harassed as they walk the premises of this institution from class to class. No female student should be told that she is asking to be raped by walking to class in a pair of shorts on a hot day in Arizona.

Brother Dean repeatedly dedicates time to judging the clothes female students wear as they walk to class and shouts at them that they deserve to be raped merely based on the clothing that they choose to wear. There have also been many instances where he or his associates
fat-shame students as well. The University of Arizona’s webpage for sex discrimination and Title IX includes examples of sexual harassment--one of which is the following: “Commenting on an individual's’ personal attribute.” The authors of this complaint have both been subjected to this harassment for multiple years.

On April 11, 2018, Brother Dean verbally attacked me, Yasmeen Shrestha, a currently enrolled student at the University of Arizona. This was the last straw...

Brother Dean told me that I am like “all of those other girls who got raped 6-8 months later,” thus insinuating that I would get raped on campus because of my clothing. This prompted me to act. As a minority woman on this campus, I feel personally attacked by his words and actions. I believe it is my right, protected under Title IX, to feel safe and free from discrimination while attending my public and federally-funded institution. More than just that, these preachers have worn shirts that say “Women belong in the kitchen” as well as “women are property.” The University of Arizona’s webpage on sex discrimination and Title IX gives examples of sex and gender-based discrimination--one of which is the following: “Discouraging women from pursuing certain professions or degrees.” My aspirations for my educational success are of the utmost importance for me. Being sexually harassed and objectified while walking to class is not only unacceptable but has also undermined and diminished my ability to receive the full benefits of my educational experience.

We are tired of being subjected to this harassment at the institution that we pay to be a part of. Ignoring this is no longer an option. Every student pursuing an education at the University of Arizona deserves an experience free from the harassment that has been forced upon us for several years. While free speech is protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution, verbal harassment is not. We must stop and we must take a stand--for we have endured enough. Together, we can make a change!

*** Disclaimer: By signing this petition you are confirming your position of support in our motion to rid the University of Arizona of Brother Dean, his associates, and all forms of this excessive verbal harassment. ***



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