Alleged Sexual Harassment Forces Hand at Major University
There is just so much sadness involved in this story developing at Harvard. Especially in light of some positive moves being taken on campuses around Connecticut.
I barely just wrote about strides being taken on the campuses of community colleges and university's in Connecticut to put an end to sexual harassment, when this new story broke.
The Harvard Crimson is reporting that Harvard has cancelled the entire men's soccer season due to what's being called sexually explicit reports. My heart fell when I read this. It seems that the culture of abuse has been under the microscope for a while at Harvard. Harvard’s Office of General Counsel review found that a sexually explicit document circulated among the 2012 men’s soccer team.
Apparently, nothing much changed over the course of the last few years, prompting the drastic move of cancelling the soccer season. On Nov. 3, thecrimson.com published an article stating that the team continued to produce vulgar and explicit documents rating women on their perceived sexual appeal and physical appearance.
The story from The Harvard Crimson shared part of an email that Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise wrote to Harvard student athletes about his decision to cancel the rest of the team’s season stating:
The practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016.
As a direct result of what Harvard Athletics has learned, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the 2016 men’s soccer season. The team will forfeit its remaining games, and will decline any opportunity to achieve an Ivy League championship or to participate in the NCAA Tournament this year.
This is not boys being boys. The Crimson reported the 2012 team had created a “scouting report” of that year’s women’s soccer recruits, rating them numerically and assigning each a hypothetical sexual position. On top of that, until recently, the document was publicly accessible through the 2012 team’s Google Group.
The recent article goes into much depth and you can read it at thecrimson.com. It made my skin crawl, and all I could think is STOP. Do you not have moms, sisters, or any women in your lives that mean something to you? Actions like these have to stop now.
In my opinion, this leads to a continued culture of abuse. I don't consider any of it harmless "locker room" talk.