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UC student regent resigns after former girlfriend's allegation

May 16, 2011 |  5:46 pm

The student representative on the University of California's Board of Regents resigned from the panel Monday because of controversy over an allegation of sexual misconduct with a former girlfriend.

Jesse Cheng, who is set to graduate soon from UC Irvine and had only two months left in his regent’s term, has denied the allegation and the Orange County district attorney declined to press charges against him. But a UC Irvine student conduct review found him guilty of a student code violation of “unwanted touching,” placed him on a probation status and said it would not consider his appeal, according to Cheng.

Cheng said Monday he did not want the matter to drag on and distract the regents from more important matters affecting student life. He said that no UC officials had pressured him to resign. “Now that I've gotten much of my agenda and goals accomplished or out of the way, I think it's the right thing to do for the student body,” he said in an email.

Student Regent-Designate Alfredo Mireles Jr., a UC San Francisco graduate student who had been scheduled to assume the voting position at the July meeting, will take it over instead at this week’s regents meeting in San Francisco.

In March, UC Regents Chairman Russell Gould said a board committee would examine Cheng’s status after the Irvine campus finished its review. But Gould said in a statement Monday that Cheng had resigned for personal reasons and thanked him for his service.

A UC spokesman said there would be no need for the regents to look into the matter further. A UC women's group and alumni had urged the regents to remove Cheng from the board.


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-- Larry Gordon