Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sexual Harassment 100

I would take that class as a precursor to understand what the fuck is going on in our Universities/Colleges across America.

I am irritated by the precious snowflake syndrome (PSS) that seems to dominate the discussion about students who protest speakers, books, people, costumes, Professors, building names and anything that bothers them.  Funny I don't see them running amok about having to fuck their Professors for getting an A.

In my college days I never met any Professors until I went back to school post grad in my 30s. They hated me and now I get it, I was actually opinionated and dismayed at what comprised a curriculum. which I was unafraid to express.  (Some things never change). And they too used that as a way of discouraging me or disparaging me professionally. It escalated to point where I filed a formal complaint.  It was utterly ignored.  (This is clearly some things that never change regardless)   I was paying my own way, working full time and had only two Professors worth anything;  One a Lesbian adjunct  and the other a well established and respected Sociology Professor who laughed when I said I was told by a Professor I was functionally illiterate.   This same Professor had exempted me from finals as I had clearly an A and was engaged in the class in a manner he respected.   Both knew it was politics not academics.  So what does that tell you? It tells you it is what you say and to whom you say it in College is what matters, not the content but the context.  And the content matters but it must be what they expect, need and want to hear.   That is across education frankly. 

It is why when I taught, I graded papers and exchanged them with my then husband for a second opinion.  In addition,  I informed students that they were to write their names on the back page or a separate page that I could fold over and just read it as anonymous.  You do read with bias as this is best illustrated with ELL or SPED kids whom I graded on their own standards which takes time and actually knowing the students, you cannot do that with a heavy class load.  And in turn you do read with an eye, bias is just that and it can come from a number of factors.

Today they have rubrics to supposedly eliminate that but you still read a paper with knowledge and opinion of the author and it is impossible to not so you have to utterly eliminate that or simply just look for the marks and if they hit it then grade accordingly and know that ultimately it serves as an expedient way in which to grade.  I love it as it makes no homework for me but it tells students nothing.

So when I read this in the Guardian, it was again not surprising. In fact I think I might be pissed.  No one ever wanted to fuck me in College and for the record is is Grad students who most often do and they hated me too!  One said when he handed me a paper, "I did not think you would get an A that was surprising." And why?  All finals were graded by the Professor.  Whoops fucker fooled you!  Yes, I am a bitch.  I recently told that to my Surgeon who responded, "that is not a medical condition." Ah some people get me.

Again, men you have something in your DNA clearly that does this. Or you are all just assholes.

Sexual harassment: records show how University of California faculty target students

Documents reveal patterns in how officials appear to target vulnerable students they oversee – in some cases dramatically impeding their studies and careers

Sam Levin in San Francisco
Tbe Guardian
Wednesday 8 March 2017

University of California professor Eric Gans told his female graduate student that he loved her – and that “in another universe”, they were meant to share a life together.

“I have never seen you more beautiful than the past two days,” the French and Francophone studies professor wrote to the student in May 2011, when he was 69 years old. “I can’t help feeling that … you are being beautiful for me, that I somehow inspire this beauty.”

The letter came one week before the UC Los Angeles (UCLA) student had to take an exam that Gans would evaluate. It caused her to become anxious and depressed, and according to a university investigation, was one of many sexually harassing messages he sent even though she repeatedly stated she was not interested in a romantic relationship.

The report about Gans, who eventually stepped down, is part of a massive release of public records surrounding 113 cases of alleged sexual misconduct by employees across the University of California. The more than a thousand pages of documents from one of the largest and most prestigious public university systems in the US offer an unprecedented look at the scope and scale of claims of sexual harassment and violence that activists say have long plagued college campuses.

A review by the Guardian, which received the records last week, revealed similarities in the way faculty, advisers and other academic officials appear to target vulnerable students they oversee – in some cases dramatically impeding their studies and careers.

“One single influential professor can make or break the entire career of a student,” said Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights group that has fought gender discrimination at UC. “This is not unique to the University of California.”

‘I really was terrified’

The records release comes after a year of intense scrutiny on the UC system surrounding multiple high-profile cases of powerful faculty members and administrators who avoided serious consequences after investigators substantiated claims of sexual harassment.

The documents include completed investigation reports and resulting disciplinary records from January 2013 to April 2016 across 10 campuses. Roughly 35% of the complaints came from students, and a quarter of all accused were faculty, according to university officials.

The records reveal that investigators substantiated students’ claims against UC professors for a wide range of misconduct, including lewd comments, unwanted propositions, inappropriate touching and sexual assault.

Some were terminated or resigned, but others faced minimal consequences, the records show. One-third of the accused still work for the university.

At UCLA alone, at least six faculty members faced sexual misconduct investigations. One unnamed associate professor there allegedly told a female student that she “looked so beautiful” and he was “distracted by her charm”. In an email, he said he was inspired to write her poetry.

According to an investigator’s report, when the student subsequently skipped class because she felt uncomfortable, the professor reprimanded her, emailing: “You really should not be missing classes. This is very serious, as it is disruptive to your education.”

The complaint was resolved with a settlement in which the professor did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to pay a $7,500 fee in lieu of a suspension without pay.

Another unnamed male faculty member at UCLA was accused of sending flirtatious and sexual emails to a female student. After she rejected him, he emailed: “Will try and take a cold shower. Don’t know if it’s gonna work though.”

The student, describing the impact of the messages, said: “I spent my days not studying my research but agonizing over how I could possibly fix a situation that I had not created.”

“I really was terrified of what would happen to me academically if I had to cut him from my life.”

The faculty member also resolved the matter with a settlement.

UCLA spokesman Tod Tamberg told the Guardian that both professors who settled remain at the university.

‘A vicious cycle’

While there has been increasing recognition of the epidemic of campus sexual assault in America, the UC records reveal a disturbing pattern in how administrators deal with assailants when they are faculty, Farrell said: “It’s a vicious cycle. How is a college to shift a culture among its students if it’s giving a free pass to its own employees?”

According to the investigator, Gans, the French studies professor who told his student that he loved her, claimed that he believed his overtures to his student were “welcome”, even though she repeatedly suggested otherwise, including one message that said, “I have to make it clear that I don’t see you in a romantic way.”

Gans also reached a settlement that allowed him to assume “emeritus status” but blocked him from teaching, mentoring or advising students in the future.

In an email to the Guardian, Gans criticized the university’s process, saying he was not able to present his side of the case and was not “given anything resembling the ‘due process of law’ guaranteed by the constitution”.

Investigators at UC Santa Cruz determined that Hector Perla, an assistant professor of Latin American and Latino studies, sexually assaulted one of his female students in 2015. Perla, who could not be reached for comment, resigned when disciplinary proceedings began, according to the university. The student’s lawyers recently announced that UC agreed to pay $1.15m to settle the case, which is believed to be one of the largest Title IX settlements in the history of Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law.

Academic officials at many levels faced accusations, according to the records.

At UC Merced, a male instructing lecturer asked a former female student to meet with him to see if she would be interested in helping him grade papers. Later, according to an investigation report, the lecturer sent her a text message that said, “I wanted you to take your pants off.”

The employee, whose name was redacted, was given a warning.

Joseph Lewis, a dean at UC Irvine, was found to have violated harassment policies after an unnamed person filed a complaint about the administrator making offensive sexual and misogynistic comments and inappropriate touching. Lewis, who did not respond to requests for comment, resigned as dean but was able to take a paid sabbatical, according to spokesman Tom Vasich: “He is aware of and will abide by policies regarding faculty conduct.”

Kathleen Salvaty, the UC’s systemwide coordinator for Title IX said the university has strengthened its policies and procedures since many of these cases were adjudicated, including improving opportunities for confidential reporting and mandating that faculty alert her office to complaints of harassment.

“The more we educate our students about their rights and their options, I think students can feel empowered,” she said.

The university has noted that the complaints cover a large system that employs 250,000 people. But Salvaty admitted that there were likely other victims who decided not to come forward: “The cases that distress me are the cases where the people don’t report.”

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