For Immediate Release
January 30, 2020
Contact: Lacey Rose, 617-485-4495, Lacey@617MediaGroup.com, on behalf of Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW
MONDAY: Survivors of Harassment Return to Harvard to Speak Out Against University’s Failures and Call for Immediate Change
Cambridge, MA — On Monday, February 3, women who were sexually harassed at Harvard will return to the University for a panel discussion on Harvard’s failure to handle reported cases of harassment. The event marks one year since the University began an external review into the failures of the Government Department to stop former Professor Emeritus Jorge Domíinguez from serial harassing and assaulting more than 20 women over a 40 year period.
Participating in the panel discussion, “Making #MeToo Count,” are Terry Karl, Charna Sherman, Suzanna Challen, and Nienke Grossman, four women who came forward in 2018 to share their stories of harassment and expose Harvard’s failure to adequately address harassment on campus. They will be joined in conversation by Debra Katz, one of the nation’s top #MeToo lawyers.
Charna Sherman, who was an undergraduate at Harvard when Domínguez groped her and kissed her on the lips, said, “We came forward to call on Harvard to be a standard-bearer. But at every turn over the past two years, Harvard has rejected not only our core demand — for an independent and thorough investigation with public results — but its own core principle of Veritas. It is incumbent on the entire Harvard community to come together to demand real change.”
“I think Harvard can and must do better to create equal access to educational opportunities for women on its campus,” said Suzanna Challen. “We’re looking forward to a conversation with the brave graduate students who are demanding change about what university leadership should be doing to address this systemic issue.”
While the Harvard Government Department’s investigation found “prolonged institutional failure,” questions remain about why Dominguez was protected and repeatedly promoted after allegations against him were known. In addition, two years since the Dominguez scandal broke open, Harvard is still refusing to make the change that survivors are calling for: a neutral, independent process for reporting harassment, assault, and discrimination. The Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW (HGSU-UAW) was on strike in December demanding these protections in their first union contract and are still in negotiations with the University.
Sophie Hill, a Harvard graduate student in the Government Department and a member of HGSU-UAW, said, “For me, and many other graduate students here, Terry Karl, Charna Sherman, Suzanna Challen, and Nienke Grossman are heroes. It is an honor to welcome them back to the Government Department and to give them a platform to speak out. I hope that Harvard is finally ready to listen — and take action.”
The event is co-hosted by Government Department Graduate Students and HGSU-UAW, and is open to the public. More details are available on the event website.
WHO: Survivors of Harassment at Harvard Terry Karl, Charna Sherman,
Suzanna Challen, and Nienke Grossman
#MeToo Lawyer Debra Katz
WHAT: Panel on Harassment at Harvard, and Institutional Failure to
Handle Cases of Harassment and Discrimination
WHEN: Monday, February 3; 4:30-6 p.m.
WHERE: Tsai Auditorium
Center for Government and International Studies South S010
Harvard student workers from all departments joined together in April 2018 to form HGSU-UAW. They are fighting for fair pay, comprehensive and affordable healthcare, and key protections from harassment and discrimination, guaranteed through a union contract.