Graduate student Yeohee Im alleged that Verdú sexually harassed her on multiple occasions over a two-month period. In response, the University required Verdú to attend an eight-hour training session according to Im. The 'Prince' previously reported that such training is "never the only penalty," but that the University cannot release information about a specific case, according to Title IX stipulations. Some punishment, such as loss of pay, is never revealed to the complainant in a case of the larger community.
Verdú remains employed by the University.
U-Councilor Pooja Patel ‘18 presented Senate Resolution 5-2017 at the Senate meeting on Nov. 19, urging the University to “elevate its disciplinary actions” against Verdú, who was found responsible for sexual harassment in a recent Title IX investigation.
Patel kept the language of the resolution intentionally vague because USG does not have access to the actual range of punishments available to the University. Instead, the resolution leaves room to incorporate what proposals the Graduate Student Government will advance on an appropriate punishment.
“This is a statement of support for all the students expressing concern,” said Patel. “A lot of women on campus are familiar with situations like this.”
Having led a sexual misconduct task force and having researched the topic for her senior thesis, Patel knows how rare it is to find a “clear and overwhelming” amount of evidence in a sexual harassment case.
“We’re just adding momentum to something that we feel that the University must respond to,” said U-Councilor Diego Negrón-Reichard ‘18. “Because quiescence and silence is not an option for the University in this case.”
Negrón-Reichard believes that USG has set a precedent this year in becoming more accountable to the University’s student body.
“The Senate this term, with its U-Councilors and Senators, is taking a proactive approach to campus issues,” explained Negron-Reichard. “The Senate is actually responding to dialogue that is happening on campus.”
The Senate passed the resolution on Monday, Nov. 27 and forwarded it to President Eisgruber, Provost Deborah Prentice, Vice President W. Rochelle Calhoun, Deputy Dean of the Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne, and Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering Sharad Malik.
The Senate also voted on a resolution to change the winter elections cycle for this year.
Submitted by Vice President Daniel Qian ‘19, Senate Resolution 6-2017 amends the USG Referenda Handbook by compressing the referendum process for only the Winter 2017 referendum cycle.
The current USG Referenda Handbook calls for a five-week referenda process. Resolution 6-2017 combines the week set aside for the creation of the opposition coalition with the week set aside for the collection of signatures by the referendum party, thereby creating a four-week referenda process.
USG did not recognize the Thanksgiving break as a full week in the referenda process because of the short nature of the week. USG also wanted to allow more time to finalize the language of the referenda.
“We want to use the Thanksgiving week to give the opportunity to the people proposing referenda some more time to hammer out the wording of the language,” said Negron-Reichard. “We also took the extra Thanksgiving week to encourage more people to run.”
The Senate approved the resolution on Monday, Nov. 27.
This article has been updated to include more detail on Verdú's punishment.