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Memories of CSUN Sexual Harassment

October 01, 1988

Iread with dismay the article "Suit Says 2 Lost Jobs Over Filing of Complaint" (Sept. 27) because, after all these years, I find it amazing that Cal State Northridge's administration has failed to take serious action against the problem of sexual harassment.

When I attended that campus between 1973 and 1979, sexual harassment was an open matter of gossip that only an ostrich could ignore. I recall two incidents that illustrate just how open sexual harassment was a decade ago and how professors acted with impunity toward their female students.

One involved a professor who casually asked one of my friends what her favorite sex acts were. She was so startled that she flippantly replied, "Oh, whips and chains," hoping he was kidding. He wasn't. He wanted to come over to her apartment for a session. Mentioned to other women in the class, all of them had had similar type of harassment from him.

Another incident involved a professor whose lines were like those out of a B-movie script: "Come to me, my darling, from the very first moment we met, I've seen it in your eyes, I know you desire me. . . . " This happened to several women I knew, who also reported the offer/threat of an A or F depending upon their performance or lack thereof. One of the women was so shocked that she immediately ran to the department chairperson and began complaining in detail about what happened.

Before she could get to the professor's name, the department chair said, "Oh, you mean Doctor (blank), don't you? Well, if you want a withdrawal from the class I will sign for it." The man was so notorious that the department chair already had a standard method set up for sweeping the dirty matter under the rug.

JAN B. TUCKER

Burbank

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