College is a place for opportunity and growth. It's a chance for adults, most of whom are young and have not yet had a professional career, to decide what they want to do with their lives. College also provides opportunities for leadership that can help them when it's time to launch that career and look for a job.
The college years are also when many people make mistakes that can affect their future careers and the rest of their lives. A Milwaukee student is currently dealing with such a mistake -- though whether he made the mistake is still in question. As the vice president of his university's student association, he was accused of the sexual assault of a fellow student.
A police report says the young man sexually assaulted the student multiple times, making inappropriate remarks and unwanted physical contact over the course of a few months, both in the student association office and on a school trip. The man denies the claims, which he said came as a shock to him when it became a police matter. Although he maintains his innocence, he has stepped down from his vice president role to allow the student association to move forward. An association spokesman expressed relief after the student's decision, saying he hoped the negativity of the accusations would now be separated from the positive work the association is doing.
The allegations of sexual abuse have potential to cause widespread damage to the student's reputation. College campuses are fairly insular communities where information spreads quickly, whether it's truthful or not. The student's position on the student association, which could have been a resume booster, may now appear as a figurative black mark if he's asked about the resignation. And if he's found guilty of the charges against him, it could hurt his career. It's not clear whether he's hired an attorney, but his defense could make all the difference when it comes to his future success.
Source: Fox6Now.com, "UWM Student Association VP steps down amid sexual assault allegations," Chip Brewster, Dec. 6, 2011