• Princeton University Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations
  • December 27, 2017 | Authors: Eve B. Masinter; Jerry L. Stovall; Rachael M. Coe; Jacob E. Roussel; Murphy J. Foster; John T. Andrishok; Leo C. Hamilton; E. Fredrick Preis; Rachael Jeanfreau; Melissa M. Shirley; Steven B. Loeb; Sunny Mayhall West
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  • Electrical Engineering professor Sergio Verdo was found guilty of sexually harassing Yeohee Im, one of his student advisers in a Title IX investigation that was revealed by HuffPost. Im told HuffPost that Verdu touched her thigh and stomach. He also allegedly asked her to come to his house to watch sexually explicit films. According to Im, the university's punishment for Verdu was a required eight hour sexual harassment training course. Princeton officials said the training was not Verdu's only punishment, but refused to go into detail on the subject. About 750 Princeton students, staff and alumni signed a petition calling for the university to punish Verdu more severely and clarify how it adjudicates sexual harassment claims. According to students, the university was not transparent in it's handling of Verdu's punishment and they believed it did not discipline him in an appropriate manner for the seriousness of the alleged harassment. One student explained that the power imbalance is so drastically uneven due to the narrowness of graduate students fields that a professor has the power to damage the student's future career opportunities. Another student, Michelle Zheng, was of the opinion that the university did not do enough to protect other students in the electrical engineering department who may have worked with Verdu in a similar capacity to Im. According to Zheng, the school did not publicize the issue until after the HuffPost article came out.