LETTER: DWU should hear all sides of an issueOn March 29, I attended a Dakota Wesleyan University theater production at the Sherman Center on campus. About two hours into the show, two officers from the Mitchell Police Department came in and ordered me to leave.
By: Kurt Evans, Mitchell
To the Editor:
On March 29, I attended a Dakota Wesleyan University theater production at the Sherman Center on campus. About two hours into the show, two officers from the Mitchell Police Department came in and ordered me to leave. I felt shocked, bullied and very embarrassed, but I did as they said. I was subsequently handcuffed, placed in a squad car, driven to jail and charged with “Entering or Remaining in Building” (SDCL 22-35-5).
While I was standing in jail, in handcuffs, another officer showed me a written order signed by the university provost banning me from the DWU campus. It said in part, “As you were told March 1 by officers of the Mitchell Police Department, if you violate this order, you will be subject to arrest.”
No one had ever told me that.
I later obtained copies of police reports that say DWU campus pastor Brandon Vetter had told officers the following: “Evans has a pattern of developing relationships with females and then wanting to be more than friends with them. Evans will make inappropriate comments about how these females dress. When the females have turned down Evans in the past, he becomes angry with them and will talk poorly to them.”
Of the dozens of female DWU students I’ve met over the past seven years, I remember four with whom I seriously considered becoming “more than friends.”
In one case I decided against it because of religious incompatibility. In the other three cases I decided against it largely because of 15- to 20-year age differences. I don’t remember ever being “turned down” or making inappropriate comments about how anyone dressed.
After the prosecuting attorney dismissed the criminal complaint, I wrote to DWU President Robert Duffett arguing that I had the right to be informed of the accusations against me and allowed to tell my side of the story. Two weeks later, I received a terse reply stating his decision to uphold the provost’s ruling banning me from the campus.
This is wrong, and someone should care.