Sexual harassment on college campuses, Pt. 2
By Niekeisha Pryce, News 20 at Five Investigation
“Don’t brush it off because if you let them they will continue to do it… Every time I came to his office he tried to do it again.”
A FAMU student who doesn’t want to be named says one inappropriate encounter with a Professor led to several other encounters. These cases may be rare but they do happen. Sexual harassment still exists and seems to be happening on our college campuses. This student says she was offered a bribe to retake her test in exchange for meeting up with her professor off of school grounds.
“That’s the only way I can retake the test?” asked the student. “The next time I came to his office he wanted my phone number so I can meet up with him outside of school so we can get to know each other better. I told him I don’t feel comfortable with the situation he told me he didn’t feel comfortable with me retaking the test then.”
Once a student files a complaint through the equal opportunity office disciplinary action is determined on the severity of the complaint. The professor may be given a warning or reported to the dean. If legal action is necessary, the General Counsel’s office may be involved.
“If there was any kind of harassment, whether it’s sexual harassment, whether it’s feeling that professors are treating them unfairly sometimes. We definitely want to make sure we refer the student to the appropriate authorities. Sometimes it’s the Dean, sometimes it’s the EEO…but we definitely want to make sure the student is educated on the best way to handle the matter,” says Prof. Yolando Bogan with FAMU’s Sunshine Manor counseling center.
While the main focus is protecting the rights of the students, students are warned not to participate in the harassment, but to report it immediately.
Some students say they prefer not to file a complaint against professors because they are afraid of nothing happening. But professionals at the EEO say the situation will be handled accordingly.
The most important point is that students know their rights and how to handle these types of situations.
Disciplinary action can range from leave without pay, to making the perpetrator involved watch an educational film on sexual harassment.