• Students want UNCC to fire security head due to past work at Guantanamo Bay

    By: Susanna Black

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The same man who oversaw the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is now overseeing security at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

    And students want him removed.

    "If I don't even trust you to go to you for help, why would I want you to stay here?" UNCC sophomore Kenya Banks said.

    [ALSO READ: 2 arrested after UNCC student attacked, robbed outside campus]

    Former commander of Guantanamo Bay John Bogdan is now the associate vice chancellor for safety and security at UNCC.

    While Bogdan was in charge of the notorious prison, he came under serious scrutiny.

    Channel 9 found a letter to a federal judge from military attorneys representing Guantanamo prisoners.

    In the letter, the judge is asked to examine whether Bogdan is fit for the job. They said he installed listening devices disguised as smoke detectors and instituted degrading bodily searches to harass prisoners.

    "The things he's been accused of doing, that's not something you want on your college campus," UNCC senior Greg Mateo said. "He does create fear by his presence."

    Mateo is part of a group called the Coalition to Remove John Bogdan. 

    He said the group is about 200 students strong, and they're calling on the university to fire Bogdan.

    "Even if it's not true, the fact that it's a possibility, why would you want him to be the head of a campus that's already going through enough?" Banks said.

    UNCC is supporting Bogdan.

    Channel 9 contacted him for an interview, but has not yet heard back.

    UNCC sent Channel 9 the following statement:

    “UNC Charlotte stands by John Bogdan, his qualifications, and his efforts in ensuring the safety and security of the University.

    John served his country and was honorably discharged upon retirement with the highest accolades. His nearly 35 years of service in safety, security, and crisis management at military bases across the country made him stand out as a candidate during the Associate Vice Chancellor for Safety and Security search, especially as security needs at university campuses nationwide are increasing. Prior to his employment, John went through a multi-step review process, including extensive reference and background checks, and underwent an​​​​​​​ assessment of behavioral competencies. 

    The suggestions by some members of our campus community that he is undeserving of his position at UNC Charlotte are inaccurate and without​​​​​​​ merit.

    Since he began in January, John has served our campus community with sound leadership,​​​​​​​ particularly during the tragedy of April 30 and the recovery that has followed. He has been​​​​​​​ instrumental in launching immediate after-action and independent external reviews; leading an​​​​​​​ assessment of the security of all classroom and laboratory spaces on campus, and​​​​​​​ implementing enhanced safety initiatives.

    When hiring University officials, UNC Charlotte often partners with external firms that have the​​​​​​​ necessary expertise to ensure we are selecting from the strongest candidate field possible.

    This is a standard best practice at colleges and universities and is what UNC Charlotte​​​​​​​ followed when hiring John and will continue to follow.”

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