A Harvey Mudd College dining services employee was dismissed and banned from campus Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Raul Oliveros had worked for the college for rougly 10 years, said Vice President for Administration and Finance/Treasurer Andrew Dorantes.
“The reason that led to his termination had to do with a conversation he had on Monday with his supervisor, in the presence of another management employee, [during which] he made a serious physical threat to the supervisor,” Dorantes said. Following that, Oliveros was put on paid adminstrative leave until the investigation was completed, following HMC policy.
“After that, the dining hall management team spoke with H.R. and then with myself. After we heard what both management employees had to say…about the conversation, based on that, the college is very confident that the comment posed a serious threat to the campus, and specifically the individuals.”
Dorantes said he could not reveal the contents of that conversation, including what Oliveros specifically said to his supervisor, but maintained that it was not a trivial statement.
“If somebody tells you, ‘I’m going to do ‘X,’’ and that ‘X’ is pretty serious, you need to consider that,” he said.
After Dorantes and the Human Resources department had determined that the comment was severe enough to warrant dismissal, they met with the President of the College to discuss Oliveros’ dismissal.
“The decision was made to terminate his employment and ban him from campus,” Dorantes said. “Ultimately, our number one priority was the safety of the constituents. Unfortunately, we had to make this decision.”
Dorantes met with Oliveros personally and informed him of the decision.
Oliveros had no prior history of violence or threatening comments. However, Dorantes said the college considered his comment serious enough to serve as grounds for dismissal, despite the fact that they “have no evidence that Mr. Oliveros is violent,” as he wrote in an e-mail to HMC students, faculty, and staff.
Dorantes said an incident like this had never happened at the college before.
“Every campus has security issues…strangers that come to campus and pose threats…and there are policies to ban individuals from campus” he said. “But it hasn’t happened with one of our employees.”
Dorantes said he has received little feedback about the ban from the HMC community, though he sent an e-mail to all students, staff, and faculty inform them of Oliveros’ dismissal.
Dorantes added that the Deans of Students at each college were notified of the dismissal and may choose to inform their respective student bodies of the banning.