A University of Arizona student is making headlines this week after holding a sign that read, “You deserve rape.”
According to the Daily Wildcat, Dean Saxton, also known as Brother Dean Samuel, displayed the sign Tuesday, the same day as a sexual assault awareness event.
Saxton, a junior studying classics and religious studies, said his sermon was meant to convey that “if you dress like a whore, act like a whore, you’re probably going to get raped.”
“I think that girls that dress and act like it,” Saxton said, “they should realize that they do have partial responsibility, because I believe that they’re pretty much asking for it.”
The university received numerous complaints concerning Saxton’s sign, but a university official said the school couldn’t do anything about the sign.
“We find it to be vulgar and vile,” [Kendal Washington White, interim dean of students] said. “However, it is protected speech. He has yet to, at this point, violate the student code of conduct.”
The university released the following statement on Thursday. It has not been altered in any way.
The University of Arizona does not endorse or condone the message of the campus speaker — in fact, it considers it to be vile and repugnant. However, because universities in particular are bastions for free speech, even when it is offensive, the University of Arizona will uphold the right of this speaker and all others to engage in constitutionally protected speech on its campus. Should the University receive complaints or otherwise become aware of allegation of misconduct that fall outside the realm of constitutionally protected speech, it will investigate and deal with them as appropriate.
Campus police received multiple calls after another student attempted to rip the sign from Saxton’s hands. They would not comment on the assault.