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Police: Rape, Sexual Battery at ‘Sun God’ Festival at UC San Diego

The University of California San Diego Police Department reported on Friday that one case of rape and one case of sexual battery had occurred during the university’s Sun God Festival on May 3, according to the UCSD Guardian. That followed Monday’s news of the chairman of UCSD’s Visual Arts Department defending a class in which students were encouraged to take their final in the nude, as reported by local ABC 10.

The UCSD Police Department said incidents of misbehavior during the Sun God Festival are still being reported. The Office of Student Conduct had also reported 45 cases of students who tried to sell their UCSD IDs.

Director of Associated Students Concerts and Events Seraphin Raya acknowledged that detox cases from the festival grew from last year, but protested to the Guardian, “While our detox numbers rose, the number of students being hospitalized decreased greatly. Our focus on the high-risk intoxications seemed effective.”

Raya said preventing alcohol use was less difficult than forestalling sexual assault:“For things like alcohol and drugs, we are able to implement means to reduce access and consumption. However, for sexual assault, this is a lot harder. I think continued dialogue, telling folks to treat each other like human beings, is important. I hope that whoever is in my position next year makes it a priority to work with campus resources to educate students on signs to look out for and what to do when a friend may be going off with a stranger or when they are exposed to unwelcome contact.”

In a separate case, on Monday, Jordan Crandall, chairman of UCSD’s Visual Arts Department, defended professor Ricardo Dominguez after a mother of one of his students had told ABC 10 he forced her daughter to go nude for her final or fail his class, “Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self.”

ABC 10 reported that Crandall released a statement in which he wrote:

… Removing your clothes is not required in the class. The course is not required for graduation. VIS 104A is an upper division class that Professor Dominguez has taught for 11 years. It has a number of prompts for short performances called “gestures.” These include “Your Life: With 3 Objects and 3 Sounds’ and ‘Confessional Self,” among others. Students are graded on the “Nude/Naked Self” gesture just like all the other gestures. Students are aware from the start of the class that it is a requirement, and that they can do the gesture in any number of ways without actually having to remove their clothes. Dominguez explains this- as does our advising team if concerns are raised with them. There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness, summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one’s traumatic or most fragile and vulnerable self. One can be nude while being covered …


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