The archaeology wing of the Anthropology Department is reeling from allegations that its chair is sexually harassing his students.
Seven female graduate students have alleged they were told sexually explicit jokes by Clay Professor of Scientific Archaeology Nikolaas J. van der Merwe. Two said the jokes did not fit their personal definition of harassment.
Van der Merwe is the adviser of many of the graduate students who spoke with The Crimson. He denied engaging in any form of harassment.
University policy defines sexual harassment as "unwanted sexual behavior," including sexually explicit jokes.
Although he has refused to discuss the allegations, Anthropology Department Chair Peter T. Ellison said he held a meeting last week to discuss morale in the archaeology wing.
Professor of Archaeology and Ethnology C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky said there is a search in the department to identify the graduate students who have taken their allegations to The Crimson.
Ellison, however, denied that there was a "witch hunt" in the wing.
"I would never seek nor allow any adverse consequences for individuals who might have spoken to The Crimson," Ellison said.