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Accused RHA officers are innocent, says fellow board member

By Hillary Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 3, 2000
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One week after allegations of corruption led to the resignation of two UA Residence Hall Association officials, a remaining executive board member defended the honesty and integrity of those accused.

Cory Shapiro, University of Arizona RHA national communications director, said he considers former president Rebecca Zilm and vice president of services Audra Shattuck innocent of all charges - including misuse of funds and misconduct - brought against them at the Jan. 20 RHA meeting.

Shapiro was the only executive board member not involved in the controversy.

Zilm and Shattuck stepped down at last week's meeting, saying they did not want to continue with an organization where such allegations were cast.

"I do believe they're innocent," Shapiro said. "Knowing them as well as I do, I can't even comprehend them doing anything to harm RHA in any way -they've given so much to it. It's always been give, give, give."

Shapiro said personality clashes may have led to a division on the executive board, with both "cliques" misinterpreting the other side's dedication to RHA. This may have led to a breakdown in board cohesion, causing Laura Winsky, vice president of campus affairs and acting president, and Aaron Moore, vice president of programming, to accuse Zilm, Shattuck and finance director Kathleen Rapp, Shapiro said.

"The reality is, it is one group. People just struggled in recognizing that," he said. "All of us share the same goals. We all want to make a difference. We all want to make a fun year for RHA and the 5,100 or so residents."

Shapiro said he respects Winsky, Moore and the rest of the accusing committee for trying to correct what they perceived as an injustice. However, the process was flawed, he added.

"If they're doing what they believe is right, that's great. I just don't think this is being handled in the most professional way," said Shapiro.

Shapiro said he was not aware of the charges until they were revealed at the Jan. 20 meeting. He said he was also surprised and hurt when Zilm and Shattuck resigned.

"No one saw this coming. None of those grievances happened the way they were

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