UCPD Says Hallucinogenic Mushrooms May Have Had Role in Freshman’s Fall From Window

UC Berkeley Daily Californian: March 2, 2007 – Police are currently investigating whether controlled substances contributed to an incident Wednesday night when a student fell from a third-story residential hall room.

UCPD Assistant Chief Mitch Celaya said four students were examined by Berkeley Fire Dept. officials, who suspected the students may have ingested psilocybin – a hallucinogen found in some mushrooms.

Witnesses said they found freshman Jesus Aguilar was naked and covered in blood after his fall shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Several other students covered him with clothing and a sleeping bag while awaiting paramedics. Celaya said the student was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland, and that the facial and head injuries he sustained are not life-threatening.

According to Celaya, three other students were also examined by Berkeley fire officials and are also suspected to have ingested mushrooms. Two were transported to Alta Bates Hospital for treatment while the other student sought medical care independently.

Police are not releasing the students’ names because of the ongoing investigation. Celaya said he did not know whether any of the students were still hospitalized.

Police suspect that Aguilar was alone in the room at the time of the incident, Celaya said.

Jury Rules UCLA Handled Harassment Case Properly

UCLA Daily Bruin: Feb. 26, 2007 – In response to a lawsuit accusing UCLA of improperly responding to an alleged case of sexual harassment, a Los Angeles jury ruled 10-2 in favor of the university, saying its actions investigating the accusations made by a former psychiatric resident were in fact appropriate.

The lawsuit was filed by Dr. David Martorano, a resident at UCLA’s medical school, against both UCLA and his female supervising physician Dr. Heather Krell, chief resident of the psychiatry department.

Martorano asserted in the sexual harassment suit that he and Krell had sex numerous times, and alleged that in one of the instances, Krell had forced Mortorano to engage in nonconsensual sexual activity.

Krell then filed a countersuit for the amount of $1, alleging invasion of privacy and slander. She maintained that she and Martorano never had sex.

After an internal investigation into the incident, UCLA determined there was no sexual harassment.

Martorano also alleged that prior to filing the lawsuit, he had been promised Krell’s job as chief resident of the psychiatry department – but that UCLA administrators had eliminated the position from the medical school after rumors began circulating about him just after he filed his case.

The jurors reached their decision Thursday, concluding that UCLA had properly responded to allegations.

OC Hillel To Investigate Anti-Semitism at UCI Campus

UC Irvine New University: Feb. 26, 2007 – The Hillel Foundation of Orange County announced last week that it plans to investigate anti-Semitism at UC Irvine with an all-Jewish task force of community members, lawyers, rabbis and one UCI professor.

This is the third such investigation into anti-Semitism at UCI. In July, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a governmental fact-finding group issued a report on anti-Semitism at several colleges throughout the country, including UCI. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is also conducting their own investigation.

Because of the Office of Civil Rights’ investigation, the administration has been unable to comment on Hillel’s investigation.

“The federal investigation prevents the university administration from participating in Hillel’s task force,” UCI Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez said.

The tension between a small minority of outspoken Jewish and Muslim students at UCI has received statewide and national news coverage, most notably following the 2003 destruction of a Holocaust memorial and last year’s showing of Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad by UCI’s College Republicans.

Most recently, the Anteaters for Israel hosted controversial and staunchly pro-Israel speaker Daniel Pipes, prompting a disruptive and vocal protest from the Muslim Student Union.

Hillel representatives said the investigation is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks, and that an advisory report about their investigation should be ready to present to the community and the university by the end of the school year.