Students and staff allege sexual abuse and harassment at UMass in anonymous Google form

Four individuals have come forward with their experiences

Last month, a Google document made its rounds at universities in the U.S and Europe and garnered thousands of submissions of sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by professors and students. Dr. Karen Kelsky's intent in making "Sexual Harassment in the Academy" is to become a crowdsourced investigation across college campuses.

…and UMass has made the list.

The document, inspired by the recent #MeToo Movement, enables individuals to anonymously list their experiences in a shared spreadsheet. As a result, there are now over 2,000 entries listed and Kelsky has left it open for more victims to submit their experiences on her personal blog.

As formerly depicted in an article by Wall Street Journal: “The document is publicly available on [Kelsky’s] blog, and participants can add their entries by completing a survey. Those making the claims do so unnamed, and alleged harassers remain anonymous, though schools and academic departments are sometimes identified.”

As of now, there are four listed events that are said to have taken place at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. They span across ages, and include both undergraduate and graduate students as well as professors.

Though not all of the victims say that they have reported their experiences to the University, those who have say that little has been done to change the situation.

One graduate student who shared their experience on the Google doc revealed that when she reported an incident between her and a professor, he was given a "talking to" by someone in the department. "I told a female professor about it and she told me I should wear a fake engagement ring to avoid unwanted advances," she wrote.

Many of the victims have likewise had lasting mental health problems, and remain in a situation that is uncomfortable and potentially harmful. One student wrote that the result of her experience proved detrimental to her education. "It made pursuing an academic career harder," she wrote. "It eviscerated my confidence."

It's unclear of what is to come of this document, and how UMass will respond to the allegations. Hopefully the document bring justice to those who were silenced and puts an end to the abuse of power.

UMass Amherst