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‘The University’s response... was entirely appropriate

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05

Natalicio

Special to The Prospector

Dear Prospector Editorial Staff,

Thank you for offering me this opportunity to respond to your question: "What does UTEP stand for?"  I can confidently assure you that UTEP stands for the same mission and values that we have articulated clearly and unequivocally for the past quarter-century:  to create enriched educational opportunities for talented young people, and play a leading role in improving the quality of life of all residents, in this Paso del Norte region.

With respect to the recent incident that was the subject of The Prospector editorial, there is really little more to say than that the UTEP Police Department was alerted by a Miner Village Resident Life Assistant of a possible problem in one of the apartments.  The officers who responded to that call did not follow appropriate procedures in conducting their investigation and, as a result, a decision was made not to pursue charges.  Violations of campus policy remain under adjudication and will continue to follow UTEP's standard process for all student disciplinary matters.  The dismissal of the Miner Village RLA was based on violations of RLA employment expectations and was conducted in a manner consistent with this type of student employment situation.  After reviewing this matter, I think it's fair to conclude that the University's response to both of these violations of UTEP policies and procedures was entirely appropriate and not affected by the identity of the residents.   

I trust that you will agree that all of us on the campus share responsibility for ensuring that all UTEP students—including student athletes—not only be held to the same standards, but also enjoy the same rights of due process and privacy.  As we deal with specific incidents, our deliberations must rest firmly on a strong commitment to these goals, and given the circumstances, I believe we met that standard in this case.  I look forward to continuing to work together with colleagues across the campus—including members of The Prospector editorial staff—to reaffirm our collective commitment as each new issue arises.

Sincerely,

           Diana Natalicio, President

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