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Protestors at Bruin Day event call attention to UCLA sexual harassment

By Megan Daley

April 15, 2017 12:08 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated members of Bruins Against Sexual Harassment protested during USAC President Danny Siegel's address. In fact, they protested during Chancellor Gene Block and Siegel's addresses.

This post was updated April 15 at 12:38 p.m.

Protesters interrupted a Bruin Day event held for thousands of incoming students by chanting “Stop protecting sexual harassers” and “Stop protecting Piterberg,” in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday morning.

About 15 people stood up with banners, including one that read “#firepiterberg,” during Chancellor Gene Block and Undergraduate Students Association Council President Danny Siegel’s addresses to incoming students at the annual University Welcome.

The protesters chanted for less than five minutes before being asked to leave by Pauley Pavilion security staff.

Members of Bruins Against Sexual Harassment, or BASH, and some members of United Auto Workers 2865, the union that represents academic student workers across all University of California campuses, organized the protest to inform incoming students and their families about sexual harassment cases at UCLA.

BASH members have protested several times in professor Gabriel Piterberg’s class. Two graduate students accused Piterberg of sexually harassing them and settled a lawsuit against the university in September 2016 for not properly handling their complaint.

BASH members and several other students have said they do not think UCLA gave Piterberg the appropriate punishment.

Additionally, in February the UC released documents detailing more than 100 cases of UC faculty and staff who were found responsible for sexual harassment.

[Related link: Twenty-five UCLA employees identified in UC sexual harassment reports]

“We’ve been trying to get UCLA’s attention and a meeting with Gene Block,” said Alli Carlisle, BASH member and a graduate student in Spanish and Portuguese. “We thought this was a good way to get this attention and to also alert families.”

The protesters handed out flyers outside Pauley Pavilion as students and families left the building.

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