Publicity of sex charges disturbs vice chancellor
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Publicity of sex charges disturbs vice chancellor
By ALINA TUGEND
UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Ira Heyman said yesterday he is deeply disturbed that a campus women’s group chose to circumvent established grievance procedures and instead air charges of alleged sexual harassment in the local media.
The group, Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment, announced Monday that it had filed suit with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare charging the university with failure to comply with Title IX–a federal law banning sexual discrimination.
The group brought six specific charges against assistant sociology professor Elbaki Hermassi. Members said the group did so in order to air its charges that the university has no grievance procedures for sexual harassment cases, and has no Title IX compliance officer.
“We did not wish to try this case of Hermassi through the press and did not make his name known to the media,” the women’s group representative Ruth Milkman said. “We wanted the charges to emphasize the problem of sexual harassment on campus, which we feel is very serious, and not this one case.”
In his press statement yesterday Heyman countered that Assistant Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs Michael Smith was appointed Title IX Compliance officer for the Berkeley campus “soon after Title IX became effective.”
Heyman said that the appointment has “been noted frequently in various campus publications.”
But Student Advocate Anne Bakar, who has been handling several campus sex discrimination complaints, said she feels “Smith is the Title IX compliance coordinator in name only.”
“Our office does not feel he has been fulfilling the role that a Title IX officer should,” Bakar said. “We feel Smith has not been visible or accessible and has not been looking into the problem of sex discrimination cases in general.”
The women’s group charged Monday that the university has not set up proper procedures for Title IX sex discrimination cases.
Complaints against professors, such as sexual harassment, now go through the Academic Senate’s Committee on Privilege and Tenure, which is charged with upholding standards of faculty conduct.
“We feel the tenure committee is basically designed to protect their own faculty–we so not feel it is an appropriate committee to try sexual harassment cases,” Milkman said.
Milkman added that, “sometimes sexual harassment has not been considered a form of sex discrimination. However we believe sexual harassment prevents a student from enjoying her privileges of education–and therefore she is definitely being discriminated against.”
Heyman said some of the complainants objected to the fact that the committee which hears the sexual harassment cases is composed solely of faculty members.
“I am informed by the campus legal adviser, however, that to apply any procedure other than…[this]…would constitute a clear violation of the rights of the accused,” Heyman said.
But Bakar said the process has been ineffective. “No one has any faith in the procedures–so they really do no good,” she said.
Bakar said she feels the Privilege and Tenure committee treats the manifestations rather than the basis of the problem of sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
The Student Advocate Office has been holding talks with Heyman’s office since July about Title IX. Steve Rosenbaum, Bakar’s assistant, said previous student advocates have been addressing the lack of Title IX procedures since 1976.
In a letter sent to Dean of the College of Letters and Science Roderic Park, the women’s group recommended that a different procedure be set up to hear Hermassi’s case and all future sexual harassment cases.
In its letter the women’s group requested that the committee include at least two women.
UC advocate assails sex probe
UC advocate assails sex probe
Berkeley–The University of California’s student advocate expressed the displeasure of many women activists yesterday over the university’s appointment of professor Bea Fraenkel-Conrat to deal with alleged sexual harassment of women students.
Advocate Anne Baker–an elected student official–is to meet today with UC administrators to demand formation of a permanent office to investigate alleged sex discrimination by professors.
Fraenkel-Conrat, a biochemist known professionally as Bea Singer, was named academic assistant to vice chancelor L Michael Heyman, who said her first duty will be to hear complaints about harassment and to try to resolve them informally.
Baker said that although she is pleased that the administration took some action on the matter, she is concerned with Fraenkel-Conrat’s selection and the scope of her role.
“If there are no more complaints this year,” Baker asked, “will she still be around next year?
“Let’s not forget the larger problem of sex discrimination in general. It’s frightening to think that she has no set term of office or job description.”
Baker said she will ask the administration to appoint a task force by June 30 to set up a permanent office.
Then, said Baker, she will ask that the task force be assigned to find a suitable person to head the office.
“If you want someone to resolve problems of sex harassment,” she asserted, “it must be someone the students can come to. It’s like rape–it’s a sensitive subject to discuss.”
Baker said she realizes the vice chancellor must appoint someone who will not be abrasive to the faculty, since only the academic Senate, not the administration, has the power to discipline faculty members.
“He’s hired someone who’s OK with the faculty,” she said, “and I think he’s acting in earnest. But from the student’s perspective, I don’t think he’s taken women’s feelings into consideration.”
Baker said women’s groups are miffed because they were not consulted about Fraenkel-Conrat’s selection.
Fraenkel-Conrat was reluctant to comment. Although she acknowledged that her appointment “was not greeted with cheers,” she said it is “obvious that the chancellor and the vice chancellor are deeply committed to doing something about the problem.”
She said she would first have to investigate the extent of sexual harassment on campus before she could assess her response to it. She could not say what her powers will be.
“I think solutions are possible,” she asserted. “That’s my optimistic point of view.”
In mid-February a UC women student’s group–Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment–filed suit in federal court charging the university with failing to comply with a federal law banning sex discrimination.
The suit alleged that women students were given lower grades or other academic penalties when they rejected the sexual advances of male professors. It alleged six instances by one assistant professor of sociology.
Ruth Milkman said she and other members of that group “are pleased the administration is beginning to take the problem seriously, but we’re not pleased we weren’t consulted. And rest is cut off….
Help for Women; If You’ve Been Raped; Academic Sexual Harassment
Women Invade Men’s Locker Room
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Charge Karate ‘Discrimination’
Women Invade Men’s Locker Room
By TRISH HALL
Fifty chanting women staged an unusual demonstration yesterday in the basement of Harmon Gym to protest the “discriminatory” policy of all-male karate classes.
To the chagrin of many dressing males, the band marched straight into the men’s locker room, refusing to leave until two campus police appeared and threatened arrest on trespassing charges. However, the demonstrators eventually complied and no arrests were made.
The women’s presence in the locker room was greeted with some male support for their cause as well as incredulous sneers and snickers. One man, shaking his head in disgust, asked, “When will you ever learn that this isn’t the way to do things?”
Charles Keeney of the PE department informed the group that karate is being offered only to men this quarter but will be available to women in the spring.
The angry women countered his comments by citing statistics on rape in the Berkeley south campus area. They said in 1968 there were 65 rapes reported, and in 1969, 113 rapes were reported.
The Berkeley Police department recorded 28 rapes in 1968 in the “south campus area” as defined by the department. This represented a 57 percent increase over 1967.
Although the women told Kinney that 50 more women would be raped before Spring, he didn’t yield. Instead, he explained karate is “a physical activity and is not designed to prevent rapes.”
Proclaiming “We shall return,” the women then moved to the office of the chairman of the department. Although the chairman was no on campus at that time, G.L. Radick a professor in the department, agreed to meet with the group in a classroom.
By this time, six campus police were on the scene, but took no action.
In response to their request for integrated karate classes, Rarick stated he has no power and cannot take any action, but would be “willing to talk as much as you would like.” Since a discussion was considered “useless” by the group, they returned to the office of the chairman to set up an appointment.
The group, many of whom belong to Women’s Liberation and Radical Student Union, will meet at 1 p.m. today in front of Harmon Gym in order to attend the first meeting of the men’s karate class.
Liberated Women Stopped At Harmon
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Liberated Women Stopped at Harmon
By Trish Hall
A group of some 50 women returned to Harmon Gym yesterday afternoon to attend the first meeting of the karate class being offered to men only.
After being refused admittance, they went to California Hall and presented a list of demands to administration officials.
Chanting “open it up or we’ll shut it down,” the group marched to the karate classroom where they were stopped by two uniformed campus police and several plain-clothesmen.
Sergeant George Martin informed the group “we don’t want disruption of classes today. Unless you leave, arrests will be made.”
One member of the group retorted by saying the police were violating the laws by keeping them out of the class because the Civil Rights Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Despite warnings from the police that warrants would be issued for the arrest of individuals who were known to them, the group moved closer to the closed doors.
One woman emphasized they were not only interested in gaining admittance to karate classes, but also wanted to dramatize the discriminatory practices of the University. She referred to figures on women enrolled in graduate school, and the lack of adequate day care for student and employee children. Claiming that “this is just the beginning of a movement,” she said “if the University throws us out, we’ll sue.”
Shortly after the male participants of the karate class emerged from the classroom under police protection, the group decided to present their demand to Chancellor Roger Heyns.
Chanting “self-defense for women now,” the group, trailed by reporters and a few male supporters, linked arms and marched across campus to Heyns office in California Hall.
They were directed into the conference room where they were met by Vice Chancellor John Raleigh and Robert Johnson, Vice Chancellor of Administration.
One woman told the administrators that the refusal to admit women to the karate class is “just one example of discrimination against women.” She said the co-ed karate club had been kicked off campus last quarter when the all-male karate class for credit was approved.
Another woman commented the class had to begin immediately because “the rapists and attackers will not wait for spring.”
In response to the “host of allegations” made by the group, Raleigh said “child care is currently being worked on by a group that is considering relevant facts.”
When Raleigh charged that a discussion with such a large group was “unproductive,” a member of the group read the list of demands to indicate the seriousness of their demonstration. The women demanded:
- “The history of woman and their struggles be taught,
- “Discriminatory admissions and hiring policies be ended,
- “Restriction on women in dorms be abolished,
- “Birth control devices and abortion information be made available free, at Cowell, to all women students, and adequate child care.
- “Adequate child care.
The group left the building telling Raleigh “you have till Tuesday to respond.” They paln to return to Harmon Gym Tuesday with support from women and men to demand entrance to the second meeting of the karate class.
Women to Protest Again At Gym
Breaking the Shackles: Conference on Women at Boalt Hall
January 27, 1970
Women: Breaking the Shackles
For a man…is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. –St. Paul, Cor. 11.
When the growing recognition that all signals implied that to be a sociologist, one first had to be male, a group of women graduate students and women faculty formed the Women’s Sociology Caucus in April 1969. Our growth and development followed that of the other women’s groups in the movement. In the first stage we concentrated on building friendship ties between members.
In the second stage we focused on self-education and found that discrimination against women was so pervasive that much of the time we did not recognize that it existed. To put it simply, we began to realize that we, as women, were being “cooled out.” This process is documented in Susan Ervin-Tripp’s article.
Another aspect of our self-education involved the sharing of problems that all women face. We began to realize that the pattern of “personal” problems which had initially brought us to the group had social rather than psychological roots. Ironically, all we knew about our own bodies and our own sexual natures had been defined by men. Only recently, in the Masters and Johnson physiological study of Human Sexual Response has Freud’s famous theory of double orgasm been proven wrong. Mary Catherine Taylor’s article speaks to this point.
The third stage of development of the Women’s Caucus involved the planning of concrete action. Our first project was to organize the women’s action as the national convention of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco in September, 1969.
We decided to try to implement reforms in our own department. (It should be added that at least three other departments on this campus have similar women’s groups.) Dr. Pauline Bart taught an undergraduate course on the sociology of women, the first of its kind in the history of the department. We have been negotiating with the department on the hiring of more women faculty, since at the present time the department of Sociology has not a single woman in a “ladder” (or potential tenure) position. Women are only allowed to fill “lecturer,” “instructor,” or “special interest” (i.e., for no credit) slots in this department.
Our most recent project is the conference on the status of women entitled “Women: Breaking the Shackles.” It will be held on January 30-31 and will include panel discussions and workshop on the problems of women in society. It is being co-sponsored by ACFSME and the Women’s Faculty Group.