FEBRUARY 1989 m News Features
U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER 3
Sexual harassment jeopardizes teacher-student relationship
By Denise Dador
U. of California, San Diego
A recent disciplinary case against a
U. of California, San Diego (UCSD)
professor has raised questions about
the prevalence of sexual harassment
on campuses, prompting UCSD offi-
}cials to clarify students' rights and
provide more support programs.
Paolo M. Dau, an assistant profes-
sor of philosophy, was denied a te-
nured position as a result of proven
complaints that he harassed three
women graduate students in June
UCSD information officers pointed
out that the term "sexual harass-
pment" encompasses any unwanted
attention of a sexual nature directed
at a student in an academic environ-
ment that creates a hostile atmos-
phere and interferes with the stu-
dent's academic performance.
Nancy Wahlig, coordinator of the
Student Safety Awareness Program
described harassers as persons who
are normally in positions of power
over other people.
"Sexual harassment has devastat-
ing effects on its victims," Wahlig
said. "It often results in students
leaving school, failing exams and feel-
ing anxiety and confusion."
She explained that students often do
not realize they are being harassed or
else they will tend to minimize the situ-
ation because they are afraid of jeopar-
dizing t heir grades or
Sexual harassment has only been
gaining attention on American col-
lege campuses in crecent years,
according to Pat Kitcher, a philoso-
.phy professor and chair of the
statewide Committee on the Status of
"It's something that people have
known about for years. But only re-
cently have people begun to realize
that it's the university's obligation to
fix it," she said.
One student, who did not want to be
identified, recalled that one of her
professors had been consistently com-
plimenting her before he finally
approached her and asked her out on
Although the student was worried
she'd offend her professor she "told
him exactly where we stood. I said,
'I'm a student and you're a teacher and
we should keep it on that level.' "
Most women who experience
harassment tend to blame them-
selves for what their professors did.
Wahlig explained that victims some-
times felt that it was something they
did or the way they dressed that en-
couraged their professor's behavior.
She stressed the importance of
knowing what harassment is because
the ability to identify the problem will
be beneficial once students leave col-
lege and enter the workplace.
Students who feel they might have
been victims of harassment are urged
to seek out and speak with informa-
tion officers located at several stu-
dent support centers.
Continued From Page 1
force chairman and religion professor
Sam Hill said the group will stick to
issues such as cheating and racial prob-
q"We're going to focus more on person-
integrity and how morality will effect
the classroom," he said.
"The honor system is more for the
people who believe in it than the people
who violate it," Hill said.
Student Body President Scooter Wil-
lis suggested implementing a manda-
tory, one-credit freshmen class on mor-
als and ethics.
The class, in addition to orienting stu-
*nts to UF, would discuss morals,
minorities, cultural differences, subst-
ance abuse and even voting, he said.
Other state universities are working
to get the same sort of class at their
universities, Willis said.
Student Affairs Vice President Art
Sandeen, who acts as a liaison between
the committee and the administration,
said the university has an obligation to
atline acceptable behavior.
'In this country, we want to affect
people in positive ways or reinforce cer-
tain values," Sandeen said. "A college
education should consist of more than
just the accumulation of 125 credits."
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. One-year MBA program for ex-
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. Two-year program for other
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. Excellent microcomputer facili-
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