CSU features alleged rapist in university advertisements

By Kourtney Husnick

This post was updated Nov. 7 at 3:41 p.m.

While Cleveland State University recently declined to comment on whether or not they would continue utilizing marketing materials featuring an alleged rapist, a video including the student remains at the top of the university’s Facebook page.

The “Find Your Fit at CSU” advertisement serves as the university’s Facebook cover video and includes Zachary Hiidel at the four-second mark, who is currently facing two charges of rape and one count of felonious assault, according to Cuyahoga County court records.

When asked for a statement, Will Dube, Cleveland State’s director of communications and media relations, did not address Hiidel’s inclusion in university marketing materials or his current position as a tour guide for potential incoming students.

“Cleveland State University does not comment on specifics regarding student conduct cases due to federal student confidentiality laws,” Dube said. “CSU does have strong policies related to sexual misconduct and a robust process for investigating and adjudicating all cases. CSU’s processes are separate and apart from any judicial proceedings, which may or may not affect a student’s status depending on the final outcome of those proceedings.”

The Cauldron followed up for clarification asking if Cleveland State would continue utilizing marketing materials and offering tours featuring Hiidel.

“The statement I provided is CSU’s official comment,” Dube said.

Hiidel did not respond to requests for comment. A pretrial conference is set for Nov. 13 as the case continues, according to the court docket.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.