• Collegian staff

1. University conduct violation decision

March 16, 2021

Ezekiel (Zeke) Druker

RECORD OF DECISION


Dear Zeke,

Thank you for meeting with us on March 10th, 2021, to discuss the allegation of harassment against you. We have outlined our findings, the information related to the investigation of this matter, and the sanction.


Finding

After considering the relevant information and the results of our meeting, we have concluded that you did engage in behavior that violates the university harassment policy by making discriminatory remarks about [the candidate] on the basis of political creed, national origin, and political background. These remarks directly prevented [the candidate] from being able to participate and serve in the ASWU Senate, initiating a further violation of the policy.


Your conduct violated:


10. Harassment - Behavior that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational or employment opportunities, programs or activities; includes harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, cultural background, national origin, religion, political creed, marital status, veteran status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, or age.


a) Bullying (including cyber-bullying), a form of harassment, is abusive treatment (may be verbal, physical, written, or otherwise), the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when patterned and involving an imbalance of power (real or perceived).


Basis for Finding

Our finding is based on comments made at the ASWU meeting on November 19, 2020. Here are some examples: [section redacted].


This statement, along with other statements you made at the meeting, constitute harassment based on political creed (Republican), national origin, and cultural background [redacted]. These statements directly interfered with [the candidate]’s ability to participate in and benefit from an ASWU [redacted] position. [Section redacted]. But for your claims at the November meeting, [the candidate]’s nomination would have been confirmed by the Senate in November.


In addition, [the candidate] was appropriately vetted for eligibility for the ASWU position as determined by the ASWU advisor and the application process, as were all the candidates. The allegations that [the candidate] is a fascist or [redacted] nationalist (among other allegations) was conjecture and hearsay and was not a relevant component of the selection criteria. In addition it caused personal harm to [the candidate] and interfered with [their] ability to access an educational opportunity.


We acknowledge and appreciate that you, and the ASWU Senate, have a commitment to anti-racism. However, we are committed to making sure that all of our students are also protected from harassment and that their educational and co-curricular opportunities are not taken away from them by another student without evidence to indicate fault or wrongdoing. Based on the evidence that we have, we do think that your actions violated our code of conduct and prevented a fellow student from an educational opportunity. That is why we have come to these decisions.


Sanction

In response to your actions, we have decided to issue the following disciplinary sanctions:


Conduct Probation to begin immediately upon receipt of this letter and to conclude at the completion of the 2021-2022 academic year. If you are found responsible for another violation of the Code of Student Conduct during this period or fail to complete the sanctions as outlined, additional sanctions may be considered which could seriously affect your extracurricular involvement, status, and/or enrollment at Willamette. During the duration of your conduct probation, you may not hold any leadership positions representing Willamette University. This means that you must vacate your current position in the ASWU Senate. Furthermore, you are ineligible to hold any leadership position on campus during the 2021-2022 academic year.


Restricted Contact Order effective immediately upon receipt of this letter for the entirety of [the candidate]’s career at Willamette University. There will be no contact allowed, including but not limited to, face-to-face and personal interaction, phone calls, voicemail messages, electronic and digital communication (e-mail, text, social media, etc.), notes, and contact through third parties. [The candidate] will also be given the same restricted contact for you.


Right to an appeal

As explained in the Student Code of Conduct, you have the right to request, within five days of the issuance of this letter, an appeal to this decision. Details about how to make an appeal can be found on the Willamette Student Code of Conduct website. I understand that the deadline for remaining on the ASWU ballot is likely Wednesday at 5:00 pm and, under these circumstances, you would not be eligible to run. If you believe that you want to appeal this decision and be eligible to run for ASWU President I would suggest that you speak with the ASWU advisor, Lisa Holliday.


We concur with your convictions, that a leader does need to stay true to their values, ethics, and morals. However, it is also important that leaders are willing to engage with people from different backgrounds and beliefs and work to not cause harm to others while advocating for their own beliefs.


Sincerely,


Leslie Shevlin

Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator


J.R. Tarabocchia

Associate Vice President for Admissions Marketing


CC: Lisa Holliday, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities


162 views0 comments