DENVER – A University of Denver student is suspended for the 2018 fall semester after students claim she was using racial and homophobic slurs toward her classmates.
The girl accused of using the terms said all of this is a ‘he said-she said’ scenario.
In documents obtained by Denver7, DU officials told the student her behavior violated its harassment policy by creating a ‘hostile environment of divisiveness and disrespect.’
The news about the suspension was first reported by The College Fix earlier this week.
Addison Puffer, the student suspended after the allegations came to light, spoke with Denver7 about the situation.
“I was recently suspended from the University,” Puffer said. “The accusations are that I used the N-word and the F-word.”
Puffer provided Denver7 with documents she received from DU about the investigation. She said she was accused by 13 fellow students of using racial and homophobic slurs.
When Denver7 asked Puffer if those claims were true she responded, “I never hatefully made a comment with the n-word or the f-word.”
The documents Puffer provided had quotes from some of the students claiming they were made aware Puffer used those remarks.
“In those testimonies, none of the students said they actually heard me use those words,” Puffer said. “There’s no proof. No recordings or anything.”
Denver7 asked Puffer why she believes 13 people had the same story of her using those slurs.
“I think I had a target on my back for my success at DU,” Puffer said. “I think being open with my political beliefs, that individuals felt I fit a certain stereotype.”
Denver7 reached out to DU for comment on the situation and the released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“The University of Denver takes all issues of harassment very seriously. In the event of a complaint, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX meets with all parties involved, and interviews all witnesses with relevant information to help compile a preliminary report. After both parties review the preliminary report and provide additional comments, investigators determine whether a policy violation occurred. Suspensions are not a decision the University takes lightly and only take place when a serious violation of student policy occurs.
For the privacy of our students, we cannot speak about specific students or cases. However, factual errors have been made by outlets reporting on this incident.”
“I tried to appeal their decision, but it got denied,” Puffer said. “They basically had the authority to treat me like they did, and not grant me any sort of reasonable due process or opportunity to seek legal help. I think this is more of a defamation and slander of character issue. I wasn’t provided due process, I wasn’t provided the opportunity to really respond to the University and prove to them that I was innocent before proven guilty instead of guilty before proven innocent.”