CSUN Senator Criticized for Post Joking about Sexual Assault

By Aron Csiki | August 12th, 2017

The CSUN Student Government offices in 2012.

A CSUN senator has been called out on social media after posting a picture on Instagram that some students say promotes sexual assault and harassment.


On Aug. 10, David Dennison, a William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration senator, posted a meme on Instagram that depicted a young woman, who appeared half-conscious, having a bottle of alcohol poured into her mouth by what looks like a male’s hands. The picture contained the caption “Goodbye Friendzone.”


Dennison further commented on the post “Works every time lmao.”


After circulating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the original post was deleted but not without an uproar of angry students on the social media sites. CSUN released an official press statement  Thursday denouncing the senator’s post:


“We openly denounce this senator’s post. CSUN has zero tolerance for messages encouraging sexual violence and rape culture,” Student Body President Chris Roys said in the statement.


The release also contained a statement from Dennison who said “If resigning early is what is required to make amends, then I will gladly do it.”


“I’m sorry for the post. I honestly didn’t realize that this had implications of joking about rape, nor sexual assault. Now that this has been brought up in this light, I realize the error of my ignorance and the post has since been deleted. I in no way condone or promote sexual violence, nor rape,” Dennison told the UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press.


One screenshot of the hotel senator’s post on Twitter garnered over 70 retweets and 90 likes at the time of this article’s writing. The poster of the tweet, Karl Catarata, is a student activist and former chair of UNLV SODA’s Hear Our Voices series who is frustrated by the lack of accountability for some elected officials.


“I’m seeing that this is a trend in students not taking their job seriously. At the end of the day, these are students getting paid, these are students getting paid by our money,” Catarata told the Free Press.


“[Dennison] is not representative of student leadership. I firmly believe David Dennison should resign because he broke trust with the students…his actions are are not representative of the William Harrah Hotel College at all. It’s not reflective of the good students of UNLV. It’s not reflective of the people who take their jobs seriously.”


This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

Tags assigned to this article:
hotel collegesexual assaultstudent government

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