Education

Harvard Students File Title IX Complaints To Keep Kavanaugh Off Campus

Left, SHUTTERSTOCK/f11photo/ Right, Pool via REUTERS/ Gabriella Demczuk

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

Harvard University students have filed Title IX complaints to keep Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh off campus, following a Monday announcement he will not teach in 2019.

Harvard senior Jacqueline Kellogg came up with filing formal Title IX complaints, a law aimed to end sex discrimination on campuses, and urged students through email to do the same over the weekend, according to The Harvard Crimson Monday. Nearly 48 students signed a petition saying they had filed a Title IX complaint, though one student said that not all signatories had actually filed complaints against Kavanaugh, The Crimson reported Tuesday.

The email discussed the Title IX filing process and referred to gender-based harassment.

Gender-based harassment is verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education or work programs or activities,” according to Harvard’s Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy.

“It would be pretty terrifying for any survivor or any person to walk into a building on campus and see someone who has been alleged of a very serious crime,” Harvard senior Julia Wiener, who also filed a formal Title IX complaint, said to The Crimson.

Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk Gersen believed the move undermined credible sexual harassment complaints. (RELATED: Watch: Protesters Rip Pro-Kavanaugh Signs From Students In Texas)

“It might be effective in drawing further attention to some students’ objection to Kavanaugh’s teaching appointment, but I don’t expect him [Kavanaugh] to be found to have violated Harvard University’s Sexual & Gender-Based Harassment Policy based on the currently known public allegations against him,” Gersen said in an email to The Crimson.

Title IX was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and protects people from sexual discrimination in education programs that receive financial assistance from the government. Formal Title IX complaints must include alleged harasser’s name, date, place and details of the incident, according to Harvard’s Office for Dispute Resolution website.

Kavanaugh has taught at the law school since 2008, The Crimson reported.

He was set to teach a three-week course, “The Supreme Court since 2005,” in the winter 2019 term until it was announced by officials on Monday that he would not be returning to campus.

Harvard undergraduate and law students have opposed Kavanaugh since three women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Hundreds of undergraduate and law students walked out of class on Sept. 24 in support of the women accusing Kavanaugh. The Undergraduate Council at Harvard also voted in favor of university officials investigation Kavanaugh before he could return to campus.

Harvard’s Title IX Office did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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