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Last Thursday, November 4th, the president of BGLAM and I held a not-so-secret meeting with the Dean of Basic Sciences at the American University of the Caribbean, Dr. Ron Testa, over the BGLAM Hate Crime Prevention Proposal (to read everything click here) in regards to this semesters hate crime.  Oddly, we were not told why Dr. Stroschein, Dean of Student Affairs, was elsewhere and we did not ask why.  Over the course of the meeting, we had Dr. Testa’s attention at first, but he  made it clear that he only wanted to only make small, one word amendments to the Administrative Review Procedures and did not care for the rest of the proposal.  He also lamented, “I know there is a underreporting of harrassment at this school and I do not know how to fix it”.

As we went through the proposal Dr. Testa did not even comment on our request for a mandatory anti-hate crime session which is recommended by the US Department of Education. He completely disregarded the first point of the proposal asking for stronger punishments involving harassment, hate crimes, violent crimes, and forcible/non-forcible sex offenses that American laws such as the Matthew Shepard Act demand.  He did however listen to our argument on anonymity/confidentiality of the accuser (currently the AUC administration must ‘promptly inform the accused’, even if the accuser asks for confidentiality – this is illegal according to FERPA). He decided he would consider this change on a case by case basis.  Furthermore, Dr. Testa also listened and seemed willing to change a rule to allow automatic administrative review when students are harassed or their well being is challenged (currently this allowance is only made when sexual harrasment occurs). Unfortunately, after this he completely disregarded all other parts of the proposal (which are dictated by the Office of Civil Rights letter on Title IX, to read click here).  When asked about the interviewing policy at AUC Dr. Testa said the school should interview students, because AUC is a Medical School.  But, then he said that AUC is a “business” and that AUC is, “not now or in the future considering changing this policy”.  He also stated that the school will continue the practice of accepting anyone with a “27 MCAT and a 3.2 GPA and good letters of recommendation”.

As we argued with him over the merits of having some form of interview, whether by phone or whatever, he told us very annoyed that, “it’s not under my control”.  After this he threw up his hands and declared that our proposition was far too “legalistic”, that his administration’s response to the hate crime would be far more effective. He told us as we were leaving that, although we would not be on island to see AUC change, the school was going to deal with this matter.

I strongly beg to differ on this point, but more importantly, what do you think?  Will holding a NON-mandatory session on hate crimes by AUC’s wellness counselor be effective?  Is assigning a task force to investigate a new course on professionalism by itself more effective then BGLAM’s recommendations?  Should more be done? Please comment below.  Anonymity is allowed :).

May you be at peace.

(courtesy of

American University of the Caribbean

Image via Wikipedia

From: Cindy Stroschein []
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 3:35 PM

Greetings – I am writing to inform you that a serious allegation of hate speech was made by a 1st semester student, who subsequently chose to pursue a medical education elsewhere. It deeply troubles me that such behavior would occur in a student body which I have otherwise known to dedicate so much concern and care for fellow students and humankind.

The incident occurred while the 1st semester student was riding with three other students from AUC to the White Coat reception at the Sonesta Maho at approximately 8 p.m. Friday, September 10. During the short ride to the Sonesta, the student and a witness allege that the volunteer driver and a front-seat passenger drank from open beer bottles in the car, conversed in a derogatory and intimidating manner about homosexual people, and referred to a parking attendant in a derogatory manner “multiple times”. My office continues to investigate the allegation. I seek your assistance in providing additional information that may be helpful to the investigation because the driver and the front-seat passenger remain unidentified.

Hate speech toward marginalized populations, as we have recently seen in the news, is a behavior which has profound and lasting negative effects on individuals and entire communities. Hate speech endangers the health, safety and wellbeing of the entire community and is not tolerated here at AUC.

I ask anyone who has further information about this incident to contact me for an appointment.

With deep concern,

Cindy Stroschein

Cindy Ycaza Stroschein, Ph.D., LP, CRC
Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Q: If the student filed a complaint which became an Administrative Review and thus requires the accuser to accuse someone, whatever happened to the accused in this case?   Please read AUC’s current Administrative Review and Grievance Procedures attached if you wish to learn more. Administrative Review and Grievance Procedures

See What Happened Next…Final Products – Check it Out

See What Happened Beforehand…It’s Not Safe @ AUC

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is an account of past and present struggles at the American University of the Caribbean Medical School (AUC). My colleagues and I endeavored to make our Caribbean Medical School more progressive and supportive of all its students. We worked against an administration and student government to end marginalization of students and fight ignorance. When all was said and done, the administration at AUC claimed that they had single handily brought more diversity to AUC. It's time to share the whole story.

This is the story of those that fought for progress, stood up to AUC's administration/SGA and, just sometimes, won.

June 2018
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