(Mirror Daily, United States) – There has been a concerning number of sexual assault complaints at Berkeley University over the last couple of years. The individuals involved were respected faculty members.
In the light of the recent events, the chancellor of Berkeley University announced that he is forming a sexual harassment, assault, and violence committee. The chancellor took this decision after nineteen complaints of sexual harassment were filed against faculty members.
It seems that individuals from the faculty, staff and students were guilty of sexual harassment. Among the cited incidents, there is also the case of Yann Hufnagel, the Cal coach. The basketball coach was accused of harassment by a student. The coach pleaded not guilty, and his attorney declared that the man only engaged in mutual flirtation. Also, from Hufnagel’s testimony, the accuser was the one who initiated the flirtation.
Recently, the attorney of the basketball teacher declared that Hufnagel is ready to come back to work as an assistant coach. The man is missing his job and considers that his wrongful accusation terminated his career much earlier than expected.
Furthermore, the Dean of Law School at Berkeley University, Sujit Choudhry was forced to resign after he was accused of the same offense by his executive assistant. According to the woman’s testimony, Choudhry repeatedly touched and kissed her.
It seems that assistants were an easy target at Berkeley because the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Graham Fleming was also forced to resign his commission after his assistant filed a sexual harassment complaint against him.
On the same list, there is also Geoff Marcy, an astronomy professor. The man faces four charges of harassment filed by different students.
The committee that the chancellor is forming will address and examine culture issues. Moreover, it will be in charge of recommending various ways of improving campus services, practices, and policies. The members of the committee will try to encourage all students who consider that they have been wrongly treated or abused to speak up, even if they are doing so against a prominent faculty member.
Sexual harassment is defined as being coercion or bullying of a sexual nature. People who are engaging in the activity usually promise rewards, professional or material, in exchange for sexual favors.
Generally, sexual harassment laws do not include things like teasing, flirting, or offhand comments. But the social and legal interpretation of sexual harassment depends on the culture and the country where the act takes place.
The sexual assault complaints at Berkeley prompted the formation of a select committee that will try and solve and prevent future incidents.
Image source: Wikimedia
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