Mercury Staff Report

Severe charges leveled against TA

An anonymous person sent out a mass email to UTD’s Chinese network on April 15, accusing a male international graduate TA of severe crimes, including assault, attempted rape and sexual misconduct toward students.

The allegations were not reported to the police, and could not be confirmed or denied at the time this edition went to print.

The email was seen by thousands of students and alumni from the Yahoo! and Google groups and listserv for UTD’s Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, or FACSS.

The contents of the email are now widely known throughout the Chinese international student community, said former vice president for FACSS and electrical engineering doctoral student Gang Liu.

Several students expressed concern to Mercury staff members and FACSS executive members regarding the truth of the allegations and the safety of their community.

Attempts by both The Mercury and FACSS to contact the anonymous sender via email resulted in no response.

Chinese students and alumni contacted by staff members were apprehensive that authorities would not take the issue seriously.

Sources close to the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, said they are aware of an investigation that was opened by the university’s Human Resources department, indicating that the issue is being treated as an employee-on-student sexual misconduct.

The sources said they had provided relevant information pertaining to the case to HR.

Despite multiple email, phone and in-person attempts by several Mercury staff members to contact HR and the Office of Communications, officials would not comment on whether the university was aware of this email and if it was following university and federal policies in addressing the allegations.

According to Title IX federal mandates, if the university is made aware of any sexual misconduct case, the relevant official — either the dean of students or director for HR — is required to draft a formal complaint and an investigation needs to be launched to verify or dismiss the allegations.

All relevant personnel need to be interviewed and must present any kind of evidence available to them, following which the investigation should be conducted as soon as possible. If the investigation exceeds 60 days, a formal notice must be provided to the complainant and the accused.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the complaint may be dismissed in the light of insufficient or inconclusive evidence. If the complaints are found to be true, appropriate disciplinary action must be taken.