BU’s failure to handle the Eric Ruske case unearths other mishandled sexual assaults
‘None of the cases were in any sort of moral gray area some people believe exists when in comes to rape’
BU sophomore Katharine Kolin has made a petition to dismiss Boston University professor Eric Ruske in light of allegations, along with other mishandled sexual assault cases. The allegations were made by Maria Currie, a former student at Boston University, and Erin Shyr, a current CFA student, accusing Ruske of sexual harassment in 2013 and 2014.
According to the petition, “Boston University countered by filing a motion to dismiss the charges, saying that ‘The complaint does not assert that Ruske sexually assaulted the plaintiffs.'”
Whereas the Ruske incident, and it’s dissolve, is known to students of the university, other sexual assault cases have been swept under the carpet by the administration, according to Kolin.
Over the last year, nearly 20 individuals contacted Kolin with stories of their sexual assaults. While students came forward with mention of the assault, many did not feel safe publicly sharing their stories. The majority had occurred on campus, and to the victim’s dismay, the university failed to handle the situations with, “integrity or commitment,” even though, “there was never any consent given in any of the cases,” according to Kolin.
“None of the cases were in any sort of moral gray area some people believe exists when it comes to rape,” said Kolin. “In other words, all of these assaults occurred when the survivor was passed out, blind drunk, or they were just genuinely violent rapes.
Boston University is currently under investigation for multiple Title IX violations, which is a federal investigation put in place to ensure equity for individuals of all genders at any university.
“To Boston University’s credit, we have acquired a Title IX representative, yet I find BU’s efforts to still be ineffective,” said Kolin. “I once heard from a survivor that they sent the representative multiple emails and never got a reply.”
In regards to the petition, Kolin has reached out to President Brown and Dean Elmore countless times to no avail. After sending nearly a dozen emails, Kolin was redirected to a student assistant and became aware that multiple organizations on campus, in a similar position, received the same response- avoidance. “It is shameful and embarrassing to have campus leadership that so openly and blatantly do not care about student survivors on their campus,” said Kolin.
So far the petition has received 473 signatures, with only 27 more needed to reach it’s goal. A signature demands, “that Professor Eric Ruske be terminated without any sort of severance package or recommendations, that Boston University cease all action against the allegations to reach a settlement with Ruske’s victims, and that Boston University hire specialists for and engage more of its assets in sexual assault prevention and counseling.”
Dean Elmore has declined to comment