KSDJ station manager charged with sexual harassment

Michelle Herrick

Michelle Herrick

A former staff member of the campus radio station, KSDJ 90.7 FM, has filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against Station Manager Ashley-Kenneth Allen. The complaint, filed with the university, alleges he made sexually suggestive comments to her on-air and off-air while she was creative services director spring semester.

Jacy Riedmann, who filed the formal sexual harassment complaint in late July, said she is also upset with the way her complaint has been handled by the university.

In her complaint, Riedmann said Allen called her a “whore” on the air. He asked her to dress in a more sexually revealing way and to talk sexier on the air, and when she refused, he told her she didn’t understand the radio business, Riedman said.

Riedmann, who was, at the time, an 18-year-old freshman communication studies and theatre major at SDSU, has since transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to major in radio.

Allen, who has been station manager at KSDJ for the last two years and will resume that position this semester, refused to comment for the story. Allen is majoring in communication studies and theatre.

Another female staff member filed a sexual harassment complaint, Riedmann said. That staff member is not willing to comment on the complaint.

“The main thing that kicked it off was the day he called me a whore on the radio,” Riedmann said. “It just pissed me off, because you just don’t call someone a whore on the radio. Then when I talked to him about it he said, ‘you don’t understand the industry and you don’t understand radio, maybe you’re not cut out for it.'”

Aaron Wickre, who was music director at the time, didn’t hear the comment made on the air, but he did hear the argument afterwards.

“I remember him saying that to her when that complaint came up,” said Wickre, who is a senior sociology major. “I was in the station when that happened. I don’t remember him calling her a whore on air, but I heard him say it when she was complaining.”

When Riedmann agreed to sell underwriting for the radio station, Riedmann said Allen asked her to wear low-cut shirts.

“He was telling me to dress sexual and wear low cut shirts, because boobs sell,” she said.

Wickre, who is no longer working at the station, said he heard Allen make a lot of sexually explicit comments during Wickre’s two years at the station.

“He crossed the line more than a couple of times,” Wickre said. “It’s not like you can say whatever you want, kidding or not. It’s a business and there’s certain things you probably shouldn’t say.”

Riedmann said she made an appointment in early July to see Kathy Lusk, the director of the student union, to talk about the problems that she was having with Allen. When Riedmann arrived at the meeting, Allen was there.

“It was horrible,” Riedmann said. “I told her before I went in that Ashley shouldn’t even know I’m complaining about it. I asked to do it another time when he wasn’t there, but she said Ashley needs to know about it.”

In the university’s sexual harassment policy, it says “confidentiality will be maintained to the maximum extent possible in resolving the problem.”

Riedmann said she had expected to make her complaint without having to tell Allen immediately.

In addition, Riedmann said Lusk did not act on the complaint but instead downplayed her concerns. With the help of Jeff Heinle, her advisor and professor, Riedmann

contacted the human resources department, which deals with sexual harassment complaints.

The policy also states, “University employees are required to refer all harassment complaints they receive (formal or informal, resolved or not) to SDSU’s Equal Opportunity Officer.”

Lusk would not comment for this story citing the university’s confidentiality policy.

Riedmann then interviewed with Carey Deaver, who is the equal opportunity officer for the university and deals with sexual harassment complaints. Deaver later told Riedmann that if she spoke to anyone about the sexual harassment investigation, including her boyfriend and parents, that Deaver would have to take disciplinary action against her, Riedmann said.

Deaver would not comment for this story citing the university’s confidentiality policy.

The university’s sexual harassment policy requires university officials to keep all complaints confidential, but it does not say those filing the complaint can’t talk about it.

The policy says, “Complainants, witnesses, and other persons who have assisted, testified, or participated in any manner in any phase of an investigation will be protected.”

It then goes on to state, “…regulations prohibit retaliation, coercion, interference and/or intimidation, or any other adverse act. Persons committing such adverse actions will be subject to disciplinary action.”

Karyn Weber, director of human resources, wouldn’t comment on the complaint or on the confidentiality requirement, except to say that information is available on the sexual harassment policy.

“We hold confidentiality at the highest level,” Weber said. “Our policy is out there for everyone who is in contact with the campus. Whether a student or employee, we provide them with the same information.”

The investigation is still ongoing, Riedmann said.

Riedmann, who was working at the station and getting school credit for it, said she wasn’t sure how to handle the issue, because she was worried Allen would give her a failing grade.

“When he’s your boss and he tells you how to do it and you’re taking it for credit … he has to write my final report and then I get a grade for it,” she said. “Ashley was going to be picking my grade. Basically, that’s what I knew.”