Monday, January 29, 2018

A UCLA Title 9 Story With a Twist

From the Bruin: A graduate student is accusing the communication department of misusing the Title IX process to threaten him. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into UCLA on Wednesday for possible sexual harassment under Title IX, a department spokesman said. The investigation follows a complaint filed on behalf of Justin Gelzhiser, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, which claims the communication department staff threatened to report Gelzhiser to the Title IX office unless he left his teaching assistant position in the department.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said the university will respond to any inquiry it receives from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and added the Title IX office processes all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence carefully and impartially. Gelzhiser said he thinks he was targeted by the communication department because he sent a letter in support of former communication lecturer Keith Fink* on June 5 to Laura Gómez, then-interim dean of social sciences. Fink, who had been undergoing a review process, was notified by Gómez on June 27 that his contract would not be renewed.

“The Department of Communication wanted to get rid of me because they had just got rid of (Fink), who they didn’t want anymore,” he said.

More than a week after Gómez terminated Fink’s appointment, on July 13, Gelzhiser met with communication department staff, who he said told him a student accused him of inappropriate behavior. Department staff also questioned him about his sexual history and said they would report the claim to the Title IX office unless he left his teaching assistant position, he said...

Full story at

*...A group of UCLA students and alumni called Keep Fink at UCLA claims the university treated Fink unfairly during the review process because he is politically conservative. Last month, the group organized a protest to support Fink and demanded the university retain him...


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