Status of Berkeley’s Title IX Compliance
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THE STATUS OF BERKELEY’S TITLE IX COMPLIANCE
by Shari Kurita
“One professor in my major was
constantly making comments about
“how cute I was” or “how serious”
or “how motivated I seemed to be”
after class or while I was study-
ing in the library. Needless to
say, I felt very uncomfortable
and started wearing old jeans to
“I longed for the courage to con-
front him about his harassment,
wishing I had the nerve to ask
him if he’d touch me and comment
on my appearance if I were a male
“I was ashamed, thought it was
my fault, and was worried that
the school would take action against
me (for ‘unearned’ grades) if they
found out about it.”
Do these experiences sound familiar? What is it that silences these women students, and many others who are inflicted with similar predicaments? Has this University fully accepted its responsibility under Title IX to offer women a comfortable and equitable learning and working environment? These are questions we all need to ponder as women continue to strive towards equal access, participation and respect in the academic, social, economic, and political realms of our society. Let us explore these questions together…
One major obstacle in the consciousness and lives of women is the existence, threat, and fear of sexual harassment. In a 1978 survey of senior class UC Berkeley women students (conducted by Donna Benson and Gregg Thomson), 20% of those questioned had been sexually harassed by a faculty member during their college careers.
Sexual harassment is a serious and widespread problem on campuses nationwide, and just as with the 1975 enacting of the Federal regulations of the Title IX Education Amendments (which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities which receive federal funds), the mere recognition and denouncement of sex inequalities and discrimination is not enough. Our University administrators must exemplify their condemnation of, and unwillingness to stand for such sexist behavior and attitudes by implementing strong preventive measures and grievance procedure which are designed to protect the victims of sexual harassment. They have continually failed to be responsive to the needs and demands of women, for this serves a purpose: protection and implicit acceptance and approval of the privilege status of the power structure and hierarchy of white, middle to upper-middle class men.
Sexual harassment takes many forms–verbal (sexist jokes, comments, innuendo, propositions, and threats) as well as physical (patting, touching, squeezing, pinching, brushing up against one’s body, assault, and rape) harassment, and all women are subjected to it. “If you are feeling uncomfortable during interaction with a man, you may be dealing with sexual harassment.” Whether it be an objectifying comment or “sizing up,” derogatory graffiti, stereotypical representations of women in class lectures or discussions, stratification of women solely because of our gender is used as a means of either devaluing our existence and contribution and/or keeping us in our societal “place”–unequal and subservient to men. We are often unable to assert ourselves for fear of continued verbal abuses, physical abuses, and/or reprisals which could be detrimental to our academic careers and future occupational/professional pursuits.
“Who was going to believe me? I was an undergraduate student and he was a famous professor. It was an unreal situation.”
The fear of speaking out, the fear of not receiving support, and thus, the fear of invalidation are perhaps some of the most disarming and frustrating obstacles in the way of combating sexism and sexual harassment. many women experience feelings of guilt at having somehow done something “wrong” (dressing too casually, being too “womanly” in a traditionally male-dominated discipline, etc.) to be treated in such a derogatory fashion. In trying to overcome these society-inflected complexes–objectification and victimization–we must recognize the implicit nature of sexual harassment.
“Sexual relationships between faculty or staff and students create substantial potential for sexual harassment. Such relationships inherently involve an imbalance of power, and an abuse of power by the faculty or staff member is sexual harassment.”
–Chancellor Heyman/Campus Title IX Advisory Committee
Sexual harassment is an attempt to mix power and sexuality. It occurs “when a person who is able to control of affect a woman’s academic career, job, or emotional well-being subjects her to unwanted sexual attention, coerces her into sexual relations, and/or punishes her for a refusal to comply.” It is “sexual attention imposed upon those who are not in a position to refuse it.” It is an abuse of institutionalized power or authority by men, and it is used as a means of establishing/reinforcing male supremacy over the rising presence of women. Sexual harassment aids men as a reminder that women can still be subjected to their power, to their desires.
What have our campus administrators done about this problem: Quite frankly, this University would much rather hide such abusive treatment of women from the public eye than confront such cases and work to eradicate sexual harassment from the campus environment. Its reputation as a prestigious, liberal institution is at stake, and therefore, an unspoken policy of ignoring problems, pretending that they do not exist, prevails in the minds of our policy/decision-makers and bureaucrats. In our minds, the University as well as the perpetrators of sexual harassment should be viewed as the guilty and responsible parties. It should be exposed for the “old boy’s network” that it truly is. With a tenured faculty in which over 90% of its members are white, and predominantly male, the administration does not wish to alienate its colleagues, on whom rests this University’s world-renowned reputation.
“It may…be unnecessary to bring to your attention a fact which you probably suspect to be the case on my campus: those persons with the authority to take responsible action are themselves men.”
This University has exemplified in the past its willingness to sacrifice the well-beings of some of its women students for the sake of its public image. In 1978, thirteen women students went public with their complaints of sexual harassment by Sociology Professor Elbaki Hermassi. Their grievances produced no results with the Sociology Department, so they decided, through the aid of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment (WOASH), to bring the complaints to the administrative level. At the time, the University was in violation of Title IX, for failure to develop and implement a sexual harassment grievance procedure. However, their only response in this case was a letter to Hermassi reprimanding him for his behavior. WOASH then took their case to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare HEW), the federal agency responsible for enforcing Title IX regulations. HEW’s investigation focused on the University’s non-compliance with Title IX for its failure to investigate the complaints, as well as the lack of a grievance procedure. The University was instructed to investigate the charges against Hermassi, and the results of the investigation strongly indicated that sexual harassment had occurred; a disciplinary hearing was recommended, and dismissal of the professor was advocated. Yet, once again, the University refused to accept its responsibility for sanctioning Hermassi, and instead they conducted private negotiations with the professor. The administration’s decision: Hermassi would not receive the equivalent of one quarter’s salary, even though he was on working-leave at another University. He was to be allowed to return after his one-year sabbatical, however, persistent and angry protests by students forced him to change his mind.
Up until the beginning of this school year, UC Berkeley was still without a grievance procedure. Now, we have a three-page, “interim” procedure which offers nothing concrete–no protection, no remedies–to those persons who may choose to file either an informal or formal complaint with the University. This grievance procedure continues the practice of putting the complainant “on trial”: the woman must prove that she has been sexually harassed. And in the past, this has been the design of the administration’s proposals for a permanent grievance procedure–inaccessible, ineffective, and incomprehensive. In a report on sexual harassment of students (1980), many women responded that “they had not used available grievance procedures because of their ineffectiveness–a problem of perception as well as fact, and one which can only be put to rest by the visible involvement of senior, well-respected personnel.” Also, many people do not even know that such a grievance channel exists, which is largely a fact/fault of the lack of publicity.
The University can no longer continue to pretend that sexual harassment does not exist and persist on this campus. It can no longer keep it a problem that is solely discussed in the meeting rooms of the Chancellor’s Committee on Title IX compliance, nor in the meeting rooms of the faculty’s Academic Senate committees. This does not get to the heart of the problem, and it in no way helps the victims of sexual harassment.
For women who do feel victimized and abused by sexual harassment, there are some supportive channels through which they can seek counseling and remedies. It is extremely important for a woman to be able to seek advice, receive counseling, as well as report incidents of sexual harassment in a confidential and comfortable setting. On campus, the Office of the Student Advocate (314 Eshleman Hall, 642-6912) provides such services. WOASH can be reached through the campus Rape Prevention and Education Program (642-7310), or through the Student Advocate’s office. WOASH is one of the oldest, most experienced and knowledgeable organizations focused on eliminating sexual harassment from women’s experiences, and it also provides support, advice, counseling, and legal remedies. Both WOASH and the Student Advocate’s office can be contacted for more information on the grievance procedure. No women should feel forced to continue in silence alone; and we must continue to put pressure on the University to make it respectful of, and accountable to, our needs and experiences as women.
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By Lynn Finkel
At what point does casual friendliness become sexual harassment?
According to the State Coalition Against Sexual Harassment, “Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination which occurs when a person who is in a position of institutional authority, or is able to control or affect another person’s academic career, job, or emotional well being, subjects another person to unwanted sexual attention, coerces her/him into sexual relations and/or punishes his/her refusal.”
Unwanted sexual attention can range from sexist remarks or jokes to blatant propositions. The scope of this definition has made sexual harassment a difficult crime to publish. The key determinants of what constitutes sexual harassment in the classroom are the way the student feels about the instructor’s action, and whether the act could be perceived as a threat to the student’s academic future. If the student is intimidated by an act because she perceives it is backed by the threat of academic reprisals, then the instructor’s action constitutes sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment has serious implications for a woman’s future. If a woman can not establish an academic relationship with her instructor for fear or sexual harassment, her ability to do high quality work and to obtain good recommendations is seriously hindered. Since academic performance largely determines graduate school admissions, and, to a considerable degree, career options, sexual harassment can drastically affect a woman’s life.
Instructors accused of sexual harassment often blame the victimized woman for “provocative behavior.” However, sexual harassment, like rape, is a crime of power not passion.
Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment (WOASH) was the first organized effort to fight sexual harassment of Berkeley. WOASH was formed in 1978 to address thirteen sexual harassment complaints brought against Professor Elbaki Hermassi of the Sociology Department.
When informal dealings between WOASH and the Sociology Department yielded unsatisfactory results, WOASH filed a complaint with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Since HEW had determined that sexual harassment constitutes sexual discrimination, the University’s failure to investigate the complaint was a violation of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. The University was required to investigate the complaint or suffer the loss of Federal funds. After a confidential University investigation, former Chancellor Bowker announced that Hermassi had been suspended without pay for one quarter and that the investigation report would become part of Hermassi’s personal file. The penalty against Hermassi amounted to a fine of approximately $5,000. However, at the time, Hermassi was on sabbatical leave at a foreign university.
WOASH was appalled by the laxity of the University’s treatment of Hermassi. In his statement, former Chancellor Bowker claimed that the “alleged misconduct was minor and ambiguous,” but the University suppressed the details of the investigation. When Hermassi returned to Berkeley in Fall 1980, strong political pressure forced his resignation.
Since the Hermassi case, the University, prompted by students, has taken a hard look at sexual harassment. A Title IX Committee, headed by a Title IX Compliance Officer, has been established within the Chancellor’s office. One of the group’s primary commitments has been to study sexual harassment and to create an institutional grievance procedure.
The Administration, however, remains reluctant to deal with sexual harassment. In large part, this is due to the small number of complaints. Harassed women, plagued by false guilt feelings, embarrassed by the personal nature of the issue or afraid of repercussions, often do not file complaints. Thus the University is able to contend that the problem is insignificant.
The emotional nature of the issue impedes quick act from the University’s perspective, the seriousness of character defamation in addition to the presumption that a woman’s behavior provoked the act, and the “emotionalism” of feminist groups make grievance resolution and policy development slow and difficult.
Strategies for stopping…
–Development of Formal Grievance Procedure
A grievance procedure developed by the Title IX Committee is currently being revised by Susan French, an attorney at UC Davis. The grievance procedure should have the following features:
The Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure should be implemented soon.
The University should publicize the existence of the procedure.
Hearing bodies outlined in the Grievance Procedure should be representative of women, minority groups, and students. Students should be chosen by other students (e.g. ASUC).
The hearing process should be consolidated to minimize the mental anguish suffered by the victim. If several disciplinary bodies must hold hearings, a joint hearing process should be developed so that there is only one hearing for each case.
The procedure should apply to faculty and staff.
There should be no time limits for filing grievances. Students should be able to file a complaint and go through the grievance procedure even if they have graduate.
The existence of a formal grievance procedure is not enough. Women who have been harassed must come forward. Faculty and staff must be reeducated so as not to tolerate sexual harassment.
In conjunction with WOASH, the Student Advocate’s Office is developing a complaint system to make it easier for women to file complaints without the fear of retribution. More information about this system can be obtained from WOASH, the Student Advocate’s Offie, or any living group liaison. All information will remain strictly confidential until students involved are ready to file a formal grievance.
Education of faculty, staff, and students is a crucial part of a solution to sexual harassment. Faculty and staff must be taught how damaging sexual harassment is to female students and to the University community. When sexual harassment is committed in a mild form such as sexist remarks, it is often done in ignorance. If the harasser realized he was hindering the education of his female student, he would most likely cease his offensive activity.
Education of faculty and staff will also help create an environment which is intolerant of sexual harassment.
When a faculty member is accused of sexual harassment, his department usually behaves in a hostile and defensive manner toward the complaining party. If faculty members were intolerant of sexual harassment, misplaced loyalty to the sexual harasser would be eliminated. Swift, simple investigation would spare the students the agony of a long investigation and innocent faculty members would quickly be cleared of such charges.
Women must be educated to the fact that sexual harassment is a crime. They need not blame themselves. Women have both the right to protest such inappropriate behavior and the obligation to other women to report the sexual harasser.
Sex Discrimination – Where Do You Stand?
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Sex Discrimination–Where Do You Stand?
By Lisa Stephens
ASUC Campus Affairs Coordinator
Women are entering universities and the national job market in ever increasing numbers. American women, 51% of the population, account nonetheless for only 1% of the top positions in the country. At U.C. Berkeley, nearly half the undergraduates are women. Of Berkeley’s graduate students, one out of three is a woman. As they move into higher realms of the academic world, these graduate women find fewer jobs available to them than their male counterparts. Although women on the Berkeley faculty have increased, their numbers have not yet reached 11%: a sorry figure, considering the fact that students usually look at their professors as role models, and seek encouragement from them to continue their studies.
Who is still at the top? In Letters and Science, only 25 women out of 701 total full-time faculty (about 3.5%) hold the rank of full professor. The status of women in the professional schools is far worse.
These discrepancies might make you pause. What do they say about this campus and where women are headed with a Berkeley degree? Statistically opportunities for women look bleak. Yet actually these figures represent notable progress in the last ten years. TItle IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972, a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex, was intended to guarantee equal access to academic opportunities and a “non-discriminatory climate” at the University.
In April 1980, Chancellor I. Michael Heyman created an Office for the Status of Women and Title IX Compliance (located in California Hall). Faculty Assistant to the Chancellor, Professor Diane S. Clemens (History) works actively with student groups and organizations, as well as faculty women. Among the concerns she shares with students is the harm caused by sex stereotyping, which dissuades women from certain careers and spoils the atmosphere in which they study. The math T.A. who jokingly asks in class, “Which of you girls is having me over for dinner tonight?” may think he is coming across as Mr. Easy-Going, but actually he is reinforcing the idea that a women’s place is in the kitchen rather than in the lab or library. Students complain that departments like Political Science and Business Administration have admittance requirements far in excess of those stipulated by the University. The result is exclusion of women and minorities, who lack those requirements because they have been discouraged from taking requisite courses in high school. At the graduate level, women encounter difficulties in getting whole-hearted recommendations from male professors, who assume career aspirations come second to marriage and child-rearing.
Until recently, federal and state governments had been moving to correct these inequities, but threats of reversal hover on the horizon. Beginning with the Bakke decision of the late ‘70’s, academics and others have charged that affirmative action legislation has created “reverse discrimination” against white males. Now Congress is backtracking by giving consideration to testimony urging the end of race and sex equity requirements at universities. As one professor testified, affirmative action requirements “make a mockery of merit” and are part of a “systemic educational vandalism of the university.”
In particular, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is actively working in Congress to “reform” Title IX in proposed bill S. 1361. “Restoring restraint to federal involvement in education,” Hatch wants to restrict Title IX guarantees that now protect women students. He proposes that university compliance with non-sex discrimination laws no longer be required for students to receive federal aid money from the government in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, or wages. Another “reform” proposes that the University as an institution should not be held responsible for non-discrimination: that only individual programs receiving direct federal funds should be required to implement the affirmative action law.
A similar retreat is evident in California. Last spring, the legislature attempted to axe the State Commission on the Status of Women. Organizations rallied throughout California, and the lawmakers restored both the Commission and its budget.
With such a pernicious atmosphere in the national and state capitols, 1981-82 promises to be a critical year for women’s academic rights. Will the increasing population of women students find a climate of encouragement, mere tolerance, or the blatant repression of the 1950’s? At U.C.B., the outcome will be largely determined by our own concerns and efforts as students in the months ahead. For more information, contact Deena Gonzalez, Chair of the Graduate Assembly (642-2175); Diane Clemens, Faculty Assistant on the Status of Women (642-7609); or Lisa Stephens, ASUC Campus Affairs Coordinator (642-1431).
Really Getting Screwed- Attack, Rape, and Related Subjects
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REALLY GETTING SCREWED–ATTACK, RAPE, AND RELATED SUBJECTS
In the space of time between gathering information for this article and writing it (about three weeks), I’ve heard of two rapes in the immediate campus area. One victim was a friend of a woman who works on SLATE and the other was a student who was raped in a lab on the campus while she was doing some experiments. Undoubtedly there were many more reported and unreported rapes during this time and countless attacks and incidences of hassling. After living in Berkeley for 2 ½ years, I’ve ceased for feel safe on any streets or on the campus at night and on some streets in the day.
In an interview in the “Daily Cal” (Tuesday, August 17, 1971) one of the Campus Police attributed the high rate of crime to people “having a false sense of security when they come on a college campus.” His only advice to women students who have to venture on the campus at night is that they walk in populated areas and that they take a friend with them if they have to traverse any unpopulated territory. Apparently, the police can’t offer us any real protection and can only warn us to restrict our freedom in order to be safe.
Halleran, the man interviewed, is against women learning Karate to protect themselves because “A little knowledge is a danger thing”. I believe no knowledge is more dangerous. Karate, as beginning Karate students are told, doesn’t allow the practitioner to destroy her attacker, but will allow her to stop the attacker long enough to escape. If the Campus and Berkeley Police can’t offer us protection, it looks as though it’s up to each of us to protect herself.
ASUC VP to resign; faces sex assault suit
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ASUC VP to resign; faces sex assault suit
Underage woman claims group attack
By BRIAN HILL
Facing a sexual assault suit against himself and two UC Berkeley fraternities, newly elected ASUC External Vice President Bryan Freedman said Friday that he will announce his resignation today.
The suit, asking $600,000 in damages, was filed April 15 in the Alameda County Superior Court by Jennifer Mason and her parents John and Ann Mason. It states that on October 4, 1985, Mason attended a joint Tau Kappa Epsilon-Zeta Beta Tau party at which members served her alcohol and failed to restrain others from sexually assaulting her.
The suit states that Freedman, fellow ZBT member Thomas Ezrin, a man by the last name of Baker, and up to six others “assaulted and battered and sexually assaulted and battered” Mason, who was a minor at the time of the incident. The suit states that the assault “included, but was not limited to forcibly touching, kissing, embracing and molesting” Mason against her will.
Freedman, a member of the ASUC’s BEARS Party, denied there was, or had been, any lawsuit or incident. He said he is resigning in order to work for a San Francisco law firm and to better his chances of getting into law school.
The suit names “Bryan Freeman” in the incident. Ezrin said Freedman was resigning because of the suit against him.
Ezrin said Freedman was resigning “because it’s not fair for a high ASUC official to be involved in something like this.”
Ezrin described the suit as “a sham.” He said he had been “keeping a lid on it as much as I can” during the past year.
Ezrin said he had already been kicked out of Zeta Beta Tau because of the incident.
Freedman said Friday that he has never been a member of any fraternity. He later denied having said this and acknowledged that he used to be a member of Zeta Beta Tau.
The Masons and their lawyer could not be reached for comment. It is not known if the Mason contacted the police about the alleged sexual assault. The Daily Californian could not locate any campus or city police records concerning the alleged assault.
Out-going ASUC Executive Vice President Karen Licavoli, a member of the Cal-SERVE party, said she had heard that the incident occurred in Freedman’s room, but said she did not know if he had been involved.
The BEARS party swept all five executive offices in last month’s ASUC election.
Newly elected ASUC President Steve Ganz said Freedman was resigning to work for the law firm. He declined to comment on rumors of an assault, saying, “It’s his (Freedman’s) life.”
Ganz said he had “heard most everything” concerning the alleged assault. But, he said, “it has been agreed not to comment on it until it becomes public.”
Freedman served during the past year as ASUC attorney general.
Outgoing ASUC President Pedro Noguera, who appointed Freedman attorney general in September, said that in November Freedman “told me in confidence that he was thrown up on (campus) disciplinary charges for involvement in the incident. (Freedman) said he brought her to the house, but after that was in no way involved and didn’t know what happened.
“At the time I figured he’s innocent until proven guilty, and it was best handled by the disciplinary process,” Noguera said.
ASUC Senator and ZBT member Dave Katz said he had heard UC Berkeley Student Conduct Officer Alan Kolling had investigated Freedman and ZBT, but said he did not know the findings of the inquiry.
Kolling said he is not allowed to make statements regarding student conduct files. He would not say if there was or had been any investigation of Freedman, Ezrin, or any others.
Katz said he thought the incident was the action of “a few individuals,” and did not reflect on the house.
“What happened was wrong, but of course it’s a matter of degree,” Katz said.
Noguera said he thought most BEARS members did not know about the alleged incident until a few weeks ago. He said he had been told that Ganz and ASUC Senators Nikki Maguire, Matt Denn, Dave Katz and Jim Goldstein had pressured Freedman to resign.
Denn, Goldstein and Maguire refused to comment.
Katz said he was present when several BEARS members confronted Freedman about the suit, and “the thing exploded.”
“I guess people got scared,” Katz said. “They heard of the suit and figured where there’s smoke there’s fire. They told him and he reacted…well…He changed his priorities.”
ZBT President Rob Lewis said he had not yet heard of the suit, but didn’t need to be told who the plaintiffs were because “I know (of) the girl.” He declined to comment further.
Freedman said he was respected by many people on campus, that he had earned that respect, and therefore The Daily Californian had no right to ask him questions about the alleged incident.
“Let me remind you, I’m going to be working for a law firm, and if you print anything false I will sue the paper and you personally,” Freedman said.
Freedman said he was proud of the job he had done as ASUC attorney general.
Despite pressure from fellow BEARS party officials due to a pending sexual assault suit against him, ASUC External Affairs Vice President-elect Bryan Freedman has not submitted his resignation.
Freedman–who is facing a $600,000 lawsuit against him, two other men and two UC Berkeley fraternities–announced last Friday that he would resign from his newly elected post on Monday to take a job at a San Francisco law firm.
The lawsuit, filed April 15 in Alameda County Superior Court, charges Freedman and two others with “forcibly touching, kissing, embracing and molesting” Jennifer Mason, then 17, at a joint Zeta Beta Tau-Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity party last October 4.
ASUC officials yesterday said they had not heard from Freedman since last weekend. Several said they would like Freedman to resign as soon as possible.
If Freedman resigns, ASUC President-elect Steve Ganz said he will appoint current ASUC State Lobby Director Chris Cabaldon to Freedman’s post. Cabaldon, the Cal-SERVE candidate for external affairs vice-president, was defeated last month by Freedman.
Freedman, whose phone was disconnected yesterday, could not be reached for comment.
Ganz, also a member of the BEARS party, said he found out about the lawsuit against Freedman last weekend. He said he had heard allegations of an incident of sexual assault even before Freedman was selected by a committee established to choose BEARS candidates.
However, Ganz said he did not inform the BEARS slating committee because he “like(s) to play by rules,” and did not want “hearsay to screw up someone’s life.”
Most members of the BEARS party learned of the alleged incident around May 1–about two weeks after the election–according to ASUC Student Advocate-Elect Matt Denn. He said that other BEARS then asked Freedman to resign.
“Several people in BEARS told Bryan that it was both in his best interests and in the ASUC’s best interests that he resign immediately,” Denn said. “This recommendation was based upon our understanding of the incident at ZBT.”
BEARS Sen. Jeff Young, who was on the party’s slating committee, said he had not heard of the allegations against Freedman until last week.
“I had no idea whatsoever, and neither did anyone on slating (committee),” Young said. “It would have been sufficient and reasonable grounds not to slate (Freedman).”
Young added that during slating, he thought Freedman, who is currently ASUC attorney general, had good qualifications to be external affairs vice-president.
Ganz said he knows that Student Conduct Officer Alan Kolling investigated the incident, but said he does not know any details of the investigation.
The results of student conduct cases cannot be commented on because of laws ensuring confidentiality, according to university officials.
Disciplinary action for university-sponsored groups is handled in a separate office from cases involving the conduct of individual students, officials said.
The UC Berkeley Office of Student Activities and Services is currently investigating the two fraternities involved, according to Student Affairs Officer Hal Reynolds.
Sanctions against the fraternities could range from losing their privilege to participate in fall semester recruitment of new members to losing their university sponsorship, Reynolds said.
Contrary to what the lawsuit states, Reynolds said he believed separate parties were held by the two fraternities October 4. He said he believed the assault charges stemmed from behavior at the ZBT house.
Additionally, the student-run Judicial Committee of the Interfraternity Council and College Panhellenic Association has already ruled against Tau Kappa Epsilon for serving alcohol to Mason and friend–also a minor–at the October 4 party, Reynolds said.
He said the committee placed TKE on “social probation” until the end of this semester, preventing the fraternity from having parties with other Greek houses.
TKE was also put on “status probation” until the end of the fall semester–meaning that any other offenses will result in their being put on “social probation,” Reynolds said.
The judicial committee was asked to postpone the investigation of ZBT until after the university completed its own investigation, Reynolds said.
Over a week ago, Freedman said he planned to resign to take a “career-oriented” position with the San Francisco law firm of Dinkelspiel and Dinkelspiel. Freedman said he needed the job because his father was unemployed and he needed money to stay in school.
On Sunday, Freedman denied that his father was unemployed. He said his father intended to retire.
Ken Goodin, a member of the management committee at Dinkelspiel and Dinkelspiel, said that he cannot verify that Freedman has ever been in contact with the firm.
“I have no knowledge (of Freedman) at all,” Goodin said. “Law firms don’t interview undergraduates.”
Mason’s attorney, Robert Ahern, said he hopes to be able to resolve the case out of court. He said Mason has incurred medical expenses and psychiatric expenses since the incident, and that she is “definitely suffering emotional distress.”
ZBT fraternity President Robert Lewis denied yesterday that the party at which the alleged incident happened ever occurred. “There was no party,” Lewis said.
When asked if there had been a sexual assault at the fraternity at any time, Lewis said, “That’s what you have to find out.”
Kappa Delta Sexual Harassment
Police may adopt safety project
Rape prevention program –Police may adopt safety project
By LORI FELD
The UC Berkeley Rape Prevention and Education Program may become a unit of the UC Police Department, despite efforts to keep the program autonomous.
For the past seven years the rape prevention program has been operating under the supervision of the Environmental Health and Safety Department, providing counseling and education for victims and other persons concerned with rape. Although it works closely with the UCPD, the program’s emphasis is on the personal aspects of rape prevention, rather than the criminal ones.
“We have been extremely successful,” said Roberta Friedman, co-director of the program who said she has been very happy working with the environmental safety department. “We see no reason to uproot ourselves,” she added.
Joseph Gates, director of Environmental Health and Safety, identified several reasons why the university was considering placing the rape prevention program under the jurisdiction of the police department. He said that despite the fact that the program has aided in rape awareness and education, the “relatively unstructured” rape center needs to be updated. The image of the police also needs to be improved, according to Gates.
“The police want to create a more assisting image,” Gates said.
He also explained that the grant that funded the rape program has been used up over the years, and that while money was budgeted to pay for one full-time and one part-time position, the program would be better supported if it were part of the police department.
Vice Chancellor Ronald Wright is in the process of deciding whether or not the program will transfer to UCPD supervision, and while the decision was expected to be made early next week, opponents of the change hope to prolong the consideration until they have time to present their views.
Martha Rosett from the UC Student Advocate’s Office arranged to meet with Wright and the directors of the program Dec. 1 in order to discuss advantages of leaving the program autonomous.
While the police department has been fairly sensitive, according to Rosett, the rape program deals with more than crime. She said she feared that the program would “lose credibility” if it were directed by police officers, who she said victims are more reluctant to go to for help.
“Not just because they hate the police,” Rosett said, “but for a variety of reasons, both rational and irrational.”
The ASUC Senate voted Wednesday night to send a letter to Wright supporting the rape prevention program’s desire to be kept under EHS supervision. The letter states that autonomy will give the program “greater freedom and breadth in the services and information it provides,” which will help it to meet the needs of a “diverse campus community.”
By Laura Knowles
Women comprise about 40% of the undergraduate student population at Berkeley, and a much smaller percentage of the faculty. Not surprisingly, we have distinct needs and problems. While many of these problems are much like those of the male population, males are rarely sexually harassed or fearful of walking alone at night.
Berkeley, like most other college towns, is not a safe place for women. Over the past few years there have been several reported rapes around the campus area. The police estimate that perhaps 90% of all rapes are never reported. Women have been attacked in classrooms, near the Campanile, and on jogging trails, sometimes during daylight.
ON THE CAMPUS
Women must also be on guard for harassment from male authorities. This can range from remarks in the class room (“This is a good equation for the girls in the audience”) to instructors demanding sexual favors from women in exchange for giving a good grade. There was a major scandal last year when WOASH (Women Organized Against Sexual Harrassment) documented 14 cases of sexual harassment by Professor Elbaki Hermassi in the Sociology Department. Students demanded that Hermassi be fired. Harmassi’s colleagues in Sociology refused to censure him, and a year passed before the University took any action, then requiring only a year’s leave of absence (he was already on sabbatical) and docking his pay slightly. In a similar case last year, a philosophy professor at San Jose State was immediately fired.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, there are several options open to you. You can contact WOASH (606 Eshleman), or the ASUC Student Advocate’s Office. Another possibility is the Academic Assistant to the Vice Chancellor on sexual harassment (a woman specially appointed after the Hermassi case), Bea Frankel-Conrat.
“Feminist” is a label with as many meanings as there are feminists. To most of us, though, a “feminist” organization is one that in some way aids or supports women. Around Berkeley there are many of these to become involved with.
Some departments on campus have Women’s Caucuses. Campus women’s organizations include the Berkeley Feminist Alliance, the Campus Task force of NOW, the Campus Task force of WAVPM (Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media), Lesbian Caucus, WOASH and the Women’s History Research Center.
The Berkeley Women’s Health Collective gives and teaches women self-help exams and offers gynecological services; and the Berkeley Women’s Center has job listings and serves as a general trouble-shooting operation.
There are other resources available to women, such as A Women’s Place Bookstore, which has books, posters, pins, and general information of interest to women; the campus Berkeley Women’s Center (BLDF T-9 rm 112), which has information, referrals, job listings, academic and vocational counseling and a large library. It also sponsors events and workshops on topics of interests to women. Breakaway is a women’s “Free University” offering classes by women for women.
If none of the above are quite what you’re looking for, start your own consciousness raising group or feminist organization. All you need is a purpose–and a few strong women.
Women’s Survival Manual
First year student says racism, sexism in dorm
First year student says racism, sexism in dorm
By Sherry Joe
One of the 18 people arrested yesterday after a nine-hour sit-in at the housing office was Traci Morris, a black first-year student whose troubles in the residence halls sparked the day of protest.
Earlier in the day, Morris said the sit-in was an appropriate response to the harassment she said she has been confronted with since last semester.
Morris, who lives in Unit II’s Cunningham Hall, said the harassment began during the last week of the fall semester when two of her fellow residents, whom she declined to name, made her the object of several racial jokes.
“They started making sexist and racist jokes towards me and my black male friends,” she said, adding that she was the only black female on her floor. One of the jokes, she said, was a riddle: “‘What do you call a black male in college? A janitor.’”
“I didn’t care for their racial jokes and when I told them this, they began to make even more racist and sexist jokes,” said Morris.
In early February, Morris contacted her hall coordinator, Kevin Martin. Martin said he “advised Traci to talk her problems over with the students she was having problems with, but she didn’t seem to be satisfied.”
So, he said, “I discussed it with the students and I felt the situation was resolved.”
Morris said she believed Martin was “genuinely interested in helping her but should have given her more details about other options available to her, such as filing complaints with the housing office or the police.
The harassment resumed, she said, in early March, when she discovered ice cream smeared on her bedroom door after dinner. She said it was “another example of the institutionalized racism that is tolerated by the university and by society at large.”
Two days later, Morris discovered her bike hanging up by the handlebars in the shower stall. She removed the bike, but the next day, the bike was again put in the showers by two other students.
“I went to the housing office but nothing twas done. I felt so alone, that society says that racisms is okay,” she said.
But Morris’ dormmates feel she is reading too much into typical college dorm pranks.
First-year student and fellow dorm resident, Tony Sanchez, who hung Morris’ bike in the shower stall the first time, doesn’t see his prank as racially motivated.
“I thought it would be funny–I thought she would wake up, find her bike in the stall and laugh,” said Sanchez.
The next day, the bike was put in a shower stall again by first-year students Prittish Vora and Jeffrey Wisher.
Vora, who is Sanchez’s roommate, said he and Wisher did not even know the bike belonged to Morris.
“We didn’t know the bike was her–it was just a prank–it wasn’t meant to harm her,” said Vora.
“She’s being pressured by the NAACP and other organizations to view this as a racial incident,” Prittish said, adding that the entire incident was a “large misunderstanding that was blown out of proportion.”
Hall Coordinator Martin also said “it’s not strictly a racial issue” and that “changing dynamics” led Morris to interpret the pranks as racially motivated.
Just Don’t Like That Man
JUST DON’T LIKE THAT MAN
by Susan Pollack
I don’t like that man
The one that breathes into my phone.
Says I better watch myself
When I’m out alone.
I don’t like that man
It’s his sadistic leer.
Don’t feel safe
When I walk on the pier.
I don’t like that man
The way he follows my moves.
Says that he’s macho
Thinks that’s what it proves.
I don’t like that man
Don’t like what he say.
Thinks women are only good
For an easy lay.
I don’t like that man
The one at the bar.
His old lady whimpers
As he shows us her scar.
I don’t like that man
He committed a rape.
Our “on the dole” authorities
Just watched him escape.
Just don’t like that man
He takes up my space.
The trouble with men
Is they don’t know their place.
Students challenging Title IX appointment
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Students challenging Title IX appointment
by ALISA KNOBBE
The university has violated campus procedure in appointing an administrator to the position of faculty Title IX coordinator, some ASUC officials recently charged.
The coordinator is responsible for ensuring that Title IX, the federal statute prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions, is effectively enforced at UC Berkeley.
Some ASUC officials say the university administration has placed its own interests above those of students and women with the recent appointment of Lola Harris as Title IX coordinator, a position traditionally held by a faculty member.
Vice Chancellor Roderick Park recently appointed Harris, an administrative assistant to the chancellor, to head the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Title IX during fall quarter. She will be replaced by a faculty member in the winter, according to Public Information Officer Richard Hafner.
“The administration is in violation of the process,” said Shari Kurita, assistant student advocate. “A faculty member should always head the advisory committee.”
Kurita called Harris a “pawn of the administration, not an advocate for women.”
Despite repeated attempts, Harris could not be reached for comment and her office refused to issue any statement.
Hafner said it was not necessary to appoint a faculty member since the position is only an interim one, pending appointment of a new coordinator in the winter.
Park also refused to comment on the selection.
In response to Harris’ appointment, Kurita and Kamala Visweswaran, an Academic Affairs Office research assistant, sent a letter to Park yesterday outlining their opposition. “It is quite clear to us that she (Harris) cannot be ‘ethically neutral,’ as a full-time faculty member is more likely to be,” the letter states.
Both Kurita and Visweswaran have worked with Harris in the past and “she has proved to be neither a neutral participant nor a strong advocate of women’s issues,” Kurita said.
Although Park initially solicited student opinion on the selection of a Title IX coordinator, Kurita and Visweswaran say that it was ignored. They recommended at least five faculty members for the position, only one of whom was contacted, Kurita said.
Hafner said student input was used in the selection process, but would not elaborate.
“Your slight treatment of our recommendation does not show us that you have a commitment to student participation,” the letter or Park states. “The fact that the committee will not have a full-time faculty member as chair until Winter Quarter also shows that you do not take student concerns about this issue seriously.”
Kurita said they would have preferred extending the selection process an additional week if that would have enable Park to find a faculty member for the post. The letter calls arguments about time restraints “purely rhetoric.”
“Taking into consideration that the Title IX committee has yet to meet, we urge you to recognize and comply with process.”
UCB Revokes sponsorship of ZTB frat
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UCB Revokes sponsorship of ZTB frat
By MAY TJOA
University sponsorship of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has been withdrawn for next semester because of an incident last fall involving the misconduct of several members, UC Berkeley officials said yesterday.
The October 4th incident also resulted in a sexual assault suit filed April 15 in Alameda County Superior Court against ZBT, Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, ASUC External Affairs Vice President-elect Bryan Freedman and two other men, by Jennifer Mason and her parents, John and Ann Mason. The case has not come to trial.
Loss of university sponsorship is the severest penalty the university can impose on a fraternity. As a result, ZBT loses its privileges as a fraternity and cannot participate in rush, intramural and social activities, nor can it initiate new members.
The fraternity is now considered a living group and loses recognition from the Interfraternity Council, according to university spokesperson Ray Colvig.
An announcement by the university states that ZBT violated its sponsorship agreement with the university, Berkeley campus regulations, and the Interfraternity Council/College Panhellenic Association Judicial Committee Bylaws.
Specific sponsorship violations included “dishonesty or knowingly furnishing false information to the university…obstruction of disciplinary procedures,…physical abuse, threats of violence, or conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person,” the statement reads.
In addition to the university’s findings, the IFC/CPA judicial committee–composed entirely of students–charged ZBT with malicious damage and irresponsible community behavior, according to the statement.
The university also found ZBT guilty of “stealing dumpsters from Dwight/Derby and denying the theft…(and) a history of noise problems to community neighbors.”
Student Affairs Officer Stacy Campos said she could not specify the charges any further because it would violate the privacy rights of the fraternity members.
Members of ZBT could not be reached for comment.
The suit against Freedman, the two others, and the fraternities seeks $6 million in total damages. For several weeks, fellow members of the ASUC’s BEARS party have said they have urged Freedman to resign his position because of the suit.
“Our position remains as it has always been–several members of ASUC have been asking him to resign,” ASUC Student Advocate-elect Matt Denn said yesterday.
Freedman could not be reached for comment yesterday. He said May 19 that he would resign to take a job at a San Francisco law firm. A week later, he said he would announce his resignation “in a couple days.”
Colvig said ZBT may petition for reinstatement at the beginning of spring semester 1987 if it meets certain requirements regulated by the office of student activities and services.
Among the many requirements necessary in order for ZBT to be considered for reinstatement, certain members must be disaffiliated from the fraternity, the chapter must state an intention to participate in a rape prevention program and the fraternity must volunteer community serves, according to Student Affairs Officer Bill Wrightsman.
University officials said the names of the individuals who have been asked to leave ZBT could not be obtained because of rules ensuring confidentiality.
The university’s statement says that representatives of the fraternity have said that they may appeal the decision, but the university has not received any requests.
Wrightsman said the university is retaining sponsorship of Tau Kappa Epsilon, but the fraternity is on probation status until the end of fall semester 1986.
Advisors concerned by charges of frat violence
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Advisors concerned by charges of frat violence
by TERESA HEINRICH
Incidents which prompted five assault and harassment complaints in less than a week by women at fraternity parties have met with angry responses from UC Berkeley officials.
Hal Reynolds, UC Berkeley fraternity adviser in the Office of Student Activities and Services, sent a letter to the houses Sept. 16 expressing concern, asking them to “practice effective self-governance.”
“Do any of these cases justify the use of physical force?” Reynolds asked.
The complaints levied against the fraternities include one from a woman who was allegedly thrown down a 10-foot stairway at Kappa Sigma and another from a woman who had trash dumped on her head at Chi Psi.
“It’s like a trend,” said Chi Psi President Paul Krouse. “Someone gets trashed in the fraternities and it’s in the paper the next day.”
The problem lies in how to deal with offenders. The Greek system tries to implement its own penalties. After the garbage-dumping incident, Chi Psi fined the offender $150 worth of workshifts and sent the victim flowers and a letter of apology.
But all cases aren’t resolved so well, according to Student Affairs Office Alan Kolling. The Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee penalizes houses, depending on the houses to punish the offending member. That puts a lot of pressure on the houses.
“Are the houses always responsible for their members actions?” Kolling asked. “You can’t predict how individuals are going to act.”
In addition, Kolling said, fraternity and sorority members make up the Judicial Committee, posing a possible conflict of interest.
“Look at the fines and penalties,” Kolling said. If the Judicial Committee “fines the house $200, that’s what, $4 a member? That’s not even a fine.”
Still, what seems mild to onlookers may seem “devastating” to the houses, he acknowledged. When social privileges are suspended, he said, the fraternity members think “Oh, wow, we can’t party for a month.”
Kolling said cases where individual students, and not houses, are to blame should be brought before the Student Conduct Board, instead of having a separate judiciary hearing for members of the Greek system.
“The key is to…be consistent with other living organizations,” he said, so that penalties can be uniformly applied.
Further suggestions on how UC Berkeley can avoid future incidents have come from other campuses and from national chapters of the fraternities.
When Stanford University instituted a security system requiring four “designated sobers” to monitor party activities, assault claims were eliminated, said Stanford’s Director of the Row, Diane Conklin.
On the national level, Pi Kappa Alpha issued a resolution against sexual harassment in its houses.
But more rules may not be the answer. “You can guideline people to death,” said Gail Byers, former editor of the Fraternity Newsletter. “If you impose too many rules, nothing will be followed.”
She suggested workshops to educate members on male-female relationships.
Still, no one is happy with UC Berkeley’s frat record this year. “Our group is judged by the individual actions of its members and pledges,” said Chi Psi’s Krouse. “We don’t want a reputation for throwing trash on girls.”
Heyman censures frat members
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Heyman censures frat members
By JOSE NOVOA
An investigation of the charges filed against four members of Berkeley’s disenfranchised Beta Theta Pi fraternity house concluded this week when UC Berkeley Chancellor I.
Michael Heyman decided to censure–issue a formal written reprimand against–two of the fraternity members.
“Besides being put in the written record of the student, the written reprimand tells the student that if the student does it again, the student may be subject to further disciplinary action. It puts the student on notice,” Public Information Manager Ray Colvig said.
The four fraternity members were charged with beating for Chicanos after a Jan. 8 clash between the two groups. The Chicanos said they were taunted with racist remarks and beaten by 12 members of the fraternity house. But members of the fraternity said four Beta members fought the Chicanos after a Chicano threw a beer bottle at a fraternity member.
In a letter released to the press yesterday, Heyman said hearings conducted by the university’s student conduct committee “appeared to reveal shared responsibility” among two fraternity members and two Chicanos for the altercation.
The committee was unable to reach a formal decision because after about a month of hearing testimony from both sides, the committee’s four student members were not present for the final meeting.
Members of MEChA, a Chicano student organization, have said the university’s postponed the committee’s final meeting until the summer months when most students would not be on campus to protest and the committee’s student members would not be available. University officials denied the allegation, saying the committee was slowed by “the long delay by the ASUC in nominating student members for the 1982-83 committee” and that the committee’s student members live in the Bay Area and so could have attended the summer meeting.
“Regardless of the reason for this state of affairs, the administration was faced with the prospect of either reinstituting the charges before a newly constituted Student Conduct Committee or seeking an alternative resolution of the matter,” Heyman wrote.
“If charges were to be reinstituted, they would now be brought against participants on both sides. For a variety of reasons, I feel that it is in the best interest of neither the campus community nor the participants to perpetuate this matter through further hearings,” Heyman wrote. “The students have already paid a significant price in being subjected to the hearing process as well as the public scrutiny surrounding the event.”
On April 14, the campus took the unusual measure of withdrawing its sponsorship of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house after a review of the fraternity’s 1974-83 record of misconduct and charges that members of the fraternity beat four Chicanos.
“Accordingly, I have sought, through the defendant’s’ counsel, to obtain a stipulated imposition of punishment against the two Beta defendants identified as the more clearly culpable. This effort has been successful, and this matter is being concluded with the imposition of censure (formal written reprimand) against the two students,” Heyman wrote.
“I am sure that this outcome will not be acceptable to many persons who have fixed beliefs about the incident; nevertheless, based upon the information available to the university, I am satisfied that, under the circumstances, this is the best resolution of this serious and unfortunate incident,” Heyman wrote.
Zeta Phi fraternity disciplined for rowdiness
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UC’s Zeta Psi fraternity disciplined for rowdiness
BERKELEY–For the third time this year, the University of California at Berkeley has taken disciplinary action against one of its fraternities.
This time it is Zeta Psi fraternity, whose members were accused of loud noise, throwing cans and bottles out their windows, vomiting from the windows, urinating in public view in their front yard, exposing their buttocks to passers-by from the windows, and making ethnic slurs against an employee at the neighboring Hillel House.
Although that employee is not himself Jewish, he lodged the complaint against Zeta Psi.
The campus Interfraternity Council/College Panhellenic Association announced Thursday that Zeta Psi is on probation for the rest of the semester, and must clean and paint neighboring property is has damaged, and permanently close the windows where the loud music was heard.
Earlier this year, the university took stronger actions against Beta Theta Pi, some of whose members were accused of provoking a racially motivated fight with four Hispanics, and against Kappa Delta Rho, whose 17 pledges damaged furniture and sexually harassed women when they ran through a dozen sorority houses wearing only their athletic supporters.