Students and staff allege sexual abuse and harassment by Virginia Tech academics in anonymous Google form
Two accounts of sexual misconduct at Virginia Tech claimed in spreadsheet
Last year saw sexual assault survivors break their silence en masse in an act of bravery that upended Hollywood and other industries throughout America. Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, over 2000 women from colleges across the nation are following suit by adding their accounts to a public Google Doc titled "Sexual Harassment in the Academy."
The document, created by Dr. Karen Kelsey, is an anonymous crowdsource survey that compiles allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct within academia. As of January 10, there have been two separate accounts linked to Virginia Tech.
The first account in the spreadsheet alleges a 2007 incident between a graduate student and a professor. The student wrote, "He was a member of my thesis committee. After talking about how the Greeks slept with students frequently, he hugged me at the end of our meeting, smelled my hair, would not let go, and said, 'Mmmm that feels good'."
Afterward, the student "did not keep him on [their] dissertation committee and avoided him." When talking about how the incident affected them, the student said, "I became wary of seeking new male mentors…I didn't file a complaint, and I know he harassed other students in my program. I feel guilty."
The second entry is a third-party account of an encounter that is said to have happened around 2010. The entry reads:
"At [an] annual meeting, maybe 6 – 7 years ago, I met a professor…He spoke with me. Then I noticed a young woman who was an undergraduate from his institution hanging out with him. I knew some of his former graduate students, and they said that he had left his first wife for a graduate student and that he consistently had inappropriate contact with female students.
"As the night progressed, the undergraduate got drunker and drunker. Then in the early morning, she got a text from this professor asking her to come to his hotel room. He was/is married to his second wife who was a student of his. The undergraduate student showed us the texts on her phone. A former graduate student of the professor urged her not to go to his room. The undergraduate left."
Although the document does not claim what happened to the undergraduate, it does reveal that the professor involved is now a leading name in his field.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or harassed on campus, contact the VT Police Department and consider reporting to Virginia Tech's Title IX Coordinator or the Office for Equity & Accessibility. Cook Counseling is also available to provide support for those who have experienced trauma.