UPDATED: March 8, 2018 at 6:06 a.m.
Several professors, teaching fellows, and advisers in the Government Department reached out to students with messages of support and calls to join discussions about departmental climate in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Government Professor Jorge I. Dominguez.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published a Feb. 27 article reporting that least 10 women are accusing Dominguez of various acts of sexual harassment perpetrated over the past 30 years. In a second Chronicle article published Sunday, eight more women stepped forward to accuse Dominguez of sexual misconduct. That same day, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced the FAS had placed Dominguez on “administrative leave.”
On Friday, the Government department held a meeting for concentrators with departmental and Title IX administrators to debrief about the allegations. Professors and graduate students, though, have also taken it upon themselves to discuss the situation in recent days.
Naima N. M. Green, a graduate student in the Government department and tutor in Adams House, sent an email Sunday about the issue to students she teaches and advises.
“As a grad student in the department, I've found this issue—and aspects of the response to it—upsetting and difficult to deal with,” Green wrote.
“If any of you are struggling with this, or with other such issues surrounding sexual harassment, I'd encourage you to reach out. This isn't something that anyone should have to deal with alone,” Green added.
Government Department teaching fellow and Mather House tutor David Ifkovits also sent an email to students in Mather.
“From personal conversations, I know that many of you have been concerned about the way the Department has been handling these allegations,” Ifkovits wrote on Friday. “Please reach out to me at any time if you want to discuss your own experience related to this issue.”
Ifkovits said in an interview that at a meeting of “about 50 to 60” Government Department graduate students in an informal “diversity working group,” the group designated Ifkovits and teaching fellow and Quincy House tutor Meredith Dost as “liaisons” to Government concentrators on issues of sexual harassment.
Faculty in the Government Department already have a “Climate Working Group” to examine gender issues in the department, according to Ifkovits.
Ifkovits said the graduate students in the working group are currently circulating a letter about the department’s gender climate that they plan to publish soon, with signatures from professors.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: March 8, 2018
A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that The Chronicle of Higher Education published a Feb. 26 article reporting that least 10 women are accusing Dominguez of various acts of sexual harassment perpetrated over the past 30 years. In fact, the Chronicle published that article on Feb. 27.
—Staff writer Cecilia R. D’Arms can be reached at cecilia.d’email@example.com.
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