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UA News
ASU student VP rides out scandal

Photo
Brian Buck
ASU student body Executive VP
By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday September 30, 2002

The attention surrounding ASU's student body vice president and short-lived porn star Brian Buck appears to be dying down, but not without Buck's successful maneuvering to keep his job and the resignation of one student government member.

Buck was the most prominent ASU student in the adult film, "Shane's World #29: Frat Row Scavenger Hunt 3," which featured four ASU fraternities that took part in a scavenger hunt with professional porn stars, including sex on a campus lawn. The fraternity members did not have intercourse with any of the women.

Associated Students of Arizona State University hopes Buck's Tuesday apology to the student senate will allow both his supporters and opponents to move on.

"He was just trying to develop a working relationship with the senators after all that has happened," said ASASU president Mike Leingang.

In their first meeting of the year at the end of August, some members of the ASASU senate attempted to put a motion on the agenda requesting Buck's resignation, but Buck, who is also president of the senate, blocked it, since it was introduced after the deadline for setting the agenda.

ASASU officials, including Leingang who favored impeachment at that time, were frustrated with Buck's use of power.

Two weeks later the senate voted to ask for Buck's resignation, but Buck would not resign.

The next possible course of action for the senate would be to vote to impeach Buck, but Leingang said he does not see that happening because votes are lacking.

ASASU's troubles took an ugly turn when government relations director Dan Moody, ASASU's representative to the state and national governments, resigned after being accused of making threats to Buck and to activities vice president chief of staff, Oubai Shahbandar, about Shahbandar's Muslim and Arabic heritage.

On his Web site, http://asuconservative.blogspot.com, Moody commented on the Buck situation prior to his resignation. His comments included: "thanks to Brian Buck, my new job as Government Relations Director will be forever more difficult. Brian Buck deserves to be impeached When I go to lobby the Legislature on behalf of ASASU, I will now be confronted with the fact that I belong to the organization that has a vice president that made a porno."

Moody went on to post, "Brian Buck, you are a marked man."

"It did compromise his ability to do his job, so (his resignation) was pretty much a mutual decision," Leingang said.

News of the film came at a time when new ASU president Michael Crow was attempting to rid ASU of its party school reputation.

In the recently released list "Playboy's Top 25 Party Schools 2002," ASU edged Cal-State Chico for first place.

"The actions of the Arizona State University students who participated in or tolerated the making of a sexually explicit video in several ASU fraternities constitute behavior that is completely and utterly unacceptable," Crow said in an August statement.

The scavenger hunt was organized into teams of two women and fraternity members who engaged in sexual acts. Teams earned points for sexual acts and the team with the most points won.

Sex toys and other objects were used in the video as the scavenger hunt moved from bedroom to living room to limousine to poolside and to a public campus lawn and in front of a residence hall.

If a situation similar to the porno were to occur at the UA, officials are not sure what would happen.

"Obviously, the situation would be accessed to see if there were any violations of the code of conduct," said Carol Thompson, senior associate dean of students.

Most of Buck's detractors had issue with his comments after news of his involvement became public, Leingang said.

"The fact his speaking went out of his way to be cocky is what people had an issue with," Leingang said. "To be honest the concern was that it would compromise my ability to do my job, since Buck doesn't work with the public."

In late August, Buck told the Arizona Republic, "I'm not apologizing for anything I did. The way I see it is 200 fraternity guys having a good time. It's not like we planned it, it just happened It's not like this is Harvard. I can't see ASU students getting too upset about it."

Keith Jennings, ASU Assistant Director of Media Relations, said he was unable to say what actions would be taken against or have been against the individuals in the video, because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

"I truly thought Buck would be kicked out of school," Leingang said.

UA officials are concerned about similar events occurring here.

"Of course any university, particularly a large public institution, can be a part of any similar type of activity," Thompson said. "We are not immune to those sorts of things. I know it caused great concern at ASU."

Leingang said he took offense to comments ASUA president Doug Hartz made to the Arizona Daily Wildcat in August, which included, "We hold our leadership to a higher degree" and "such an event would not happen at the UA."

"It's gotta be the most asinine thing I've ever heard," said Leingang, who is from Tucson. "ASU and UA are pretty much the same. My UA friends have parties all the time."

Hartz believes that even though UA, ASU and NAU work together through Associated Students and Arizona Students' Association, a student lobbying group, people recognize the difference between the student governments.

"The separation of the schools help maintain distance," Hartz said. "Unfortunately, those individuals have made the beginning of the year tough for ASASU."

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