Burden of Proof

In a year when the Faculty voted to require more evidence before the Ad Board would investigate sexual assault complaints, the University itself has been forced to prove its case.

Jane says that she tried to talk to several administrators about what happened to her, but found them either too busy or too unapproachable to talk to.

Five days after the alleged assault took place, she says she e-mailed her assistant dean of freshmen, asking to speak with him about vague problems she had been having with “guys” and “alcohol.” She says she did not feel he was a welcoming adviser.

“He was a guy, and it was the first month of my freshman year,” she says. “It shouldn’t be that you go to this man you don’t know, who deals with academic stuff, who is on the Ad Board.”

She also sought out the counseling of Charles Ducey, the director of the Bureau of Study Counsel.

But she says Ducey fell asleep a couple of times during their sessions and she became discouraged with his attitude.


She says Ducey later apologized to her for his conduct through her senior tutor.

Ducey says he cannot confirm or deny her allegations because of doctor-patient privilege.

“If you have to be proactive and then you get shot down, how many times are you going to do that?” she says. “It takes ridiculous amounts of work and courage.”

Jane said she thought about bringing a complaint to the Ad Board throughout all of her first year. But it was not until the fall of her sophomore year, after she bumped into Dave several times, that she decided to file the complaint.

One afternoon after class, she says she walked into University Hall to talk to Karen E. Avery ’87, the assistant dean of the College who consults with students considering submitting a sexual assault complaint to the Ad Board.

Jane says Avery listened to her and listed all of the options available to her, including criminal proceedings and the Ad Board. She told Avery she was concerned about legal costs and publicity and thus didn’t want to go to court—which she says seemed to frustrate Avery.

Jane says she also spoke to her senior tutor, who represented her on the Ad Board, but she says the tutor’s administrative duties prevented her from giving Jane the support she needed.

Jane says she would jog with her cell phone, waiting for calls from her senior tutor about her case.

But she says while her senior tutor was helpful from the beginning, she was busy with other House matters and was constrained by the demands of her job, which she—like all senior tutors—owes to Lewis, the Ad Board chair.

Jane says she thinks Avery suffers from the same conflict of interest between her administrative and supportive capacities.