Wednesday, July 24

In the news:

UCLA students sue UC Board of Regents for alleged sexual abuse as camp counselors

The UCLA Title IX Office is located in Murphy Hall (pictured). Two UCLA students filed a lawsuit with claims of sexual assault and hazing as camp counselors at an alumni summer getaway. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Editor’s note: The article contains details of sexual assault that may be disturbing to some readers.

Two UCLA students are suing the University of California Board of Regents in response to alleged sexual assault and hazing they experienced as Bruin Woods camp counselors.

Samea Derrick and Lydia Dixon were hired to work at the UCLA-run summer alumni getaway in Lake Arrowhead but left early in June because of claims of physical, sexual and verbal abuse by returning student counselors, according to the Los Angeles Times. The pair filed a lawsuit this week against the Board of Regents and other camp counselors with claims of assault, battery, civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, gender violence, hazing and negligence.

The suit asks for a jury trial and $50,000 for damages, legal fees and medical bills.

The lawsuit also claims the students were hazed through forced nudity and drinking games, which have been reported at Bruin Woods for decades. The recommended packing list for counselors included items such as fake IDs, condoms and birth control, according to the LA Times.

After the 2021 camp session, four Title IX lawsuits were filed, Dixon told the LA Times. Derrick and Dixon’s allegations have been reported to UCLA’s Title IX office.

“UCLA has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, sexual violence and hazing. When we learned of the alleged incidents earlier this year, they were referred to our Title IX Office and are being handled according to university policies and procedures,” said the university in a statement to the Daily Bruin. “Our top priority is the well-being of our students, staff and families, and we have robust policies in place to review all claims of misconduct.”

UCLA declined to comment further in order to protect the privacy of those involved.

Both students have reported experiencing adverse effects on their mental health since they left the camp.

They bring you in, talking about how they’re going to be your best friends, and they get you to trust them, and then once you trust them, they get you to protect their secrets,” said Scott Carr, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Derrick and Dixon, to the LA Times. “And that’s exactly what happened here.” 

Contributing reports from Alexandra Kaiser, campus politics editor.

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