Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...  (Read 7584 times)

J D

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1388
  • Lust isn't one of the 7 Deadly Sins for nothing...
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2005, 07:40:53 PM »
yeah, nice flame

And why, pray tell, are you so convinced that it is a flame, or bull?  You weren't there, and neither was I; we didn't hear the actual words said, didn't perceive the tone of the lunch proposal, weren't there to judge how bad the alleged grilling in class was or whether it had a nasty or retaliatory air about it.  But the OP seemed to have been very uncomfortable with the whole thing, so uncomfortable, that she thought to solicit advice from fellow law students around the country.  Sexual harassment, or allegations thereof, or behavior that comes close to it, is not a joke and is not something you can just lightly dismiss.

As for the OP, my advice would be to go to the Dean (maybe Dean of Students if you don't want to march into the Dean of the Law School's Office immediately), but ONLY IF the requests for lunch continue, notwithstanding your indications that you're too busy or uninterested, and/or if you notice the treatment in class getting progressively worse.  If the requests continue despite your repeated refusals, ask him, firmly, to please not ask you again.  If it still continues, you might then consider going over his head.

STFU

くそくらえ.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

J D

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1388
  • Lust isn't one of the 7 Deadly Sins for nothing...
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2005, 07:57:25 PM »
Personally, I believe that the she was just a little too sensitive.
1). If you get grilled in class and are unprepared, it's not going to be fun. She's right--it's humiliating. But this is true regardless of gender. He was just doing his job.

Agree, to an extent.  The issue is whether his repeated grilling of her in class (calling on someone twice in a row over two days seems a little strange, given the typical size of a first year class, no?  I could understand if he had a system where each student is on call for a specific case, even if discussion of that case carries over to another day, but I don't know that that is the case here) is a form of retaliation, preparation or no preparation.  Conceivably it could be; then again it might not be.  I don't know, and cannot tell from a couple of posts on a message board, which is why I have advocated, for now, a wait and see approach.

2). Every girl has experienced an unfounded belief that some guy likes her when really he does not. It's happened to me, as I'm sure that it has happened to you. Sometimes ppl just misread signs. Especially when you go from undergrad where profs go to great lengths to distance themselves from the students to law school where they treat you as one of them.

True, but I don't know that sings here were misread.  I wasn't there to see them.  All I know is that the behavior described in the OP is CONSISTENT with quid pro quo sexual harassment (it doesn't mean that such behavior couldn't be something else, but it is at least possible that this is a case of sexual harassment.

3). If her school has blind grading, as I'm 97% sure it does, he knows that she knows that a lunch date has no effect on her grade.

True, but being constantly picked on and flame-broiled every class could also do as retaliation, and that could have an indirect effect on her performance (increasing her stress level such that she cannot put forth her best effort).  There are other things to law school besides grades, and thus other ways for one to make a law student's life miserable.

4). A LUNCH DATE!?! If a guy likes you, he will ask you to DINNER, not lunch. Lunch is something that colleagues do.

Perhaps.  But whether lunch is reserved for casual meetings or not, the salient point is he's asing her to have lunch with him and she has politely declined.  If he continues to ask, ignoring her refusals, and if he retaliates against her in class discussion for such refusals, what we have is quid pro quo sexual harassment.  I am not saying it is at that point yet, or that it will get to that point (I hope it does not), but if it does, I doubt most judges and juries will see the distinction.  Bottom line: no means no.  If you are asked to please not ask again, then don't ask again.

5). I doubt that the professor would keep pushing someone who has already turned him down. It would appear that they are treading on thin ice and they could then be risking their job. Most sexual harrassment occurs in the grey area. E.g. the lunch was consensual but the sexual advances weren't.

Again, this is why I suggested a wait and see approach, for now.  If the behavior continues, and I hope it doesn't, I say confront him and ask him to stop it.  If it still continues, go to the next level.  And just because someone in a professor's position knows or should know that they are treading on thin ice and could lose their job doesn't necessarily mean that they won't sexually harass.  After all, it does happen, and has happened, even in universities, even in law schools, between professors and students.

6). If I am reading the OP correctly, the prof has never implied that a sexual relation would occur b/w the two of them. It's not like he is asking her out to eat oysters.

Sexual harassment need not imply or involve actual sex acts.  Repeated, unsolicited requests to go out on dates (even lunch dates) is sufficient.  Remember, sexual harassment is merely a form of discrimination on the basis of sex.

Again, I just think that she is just a little too sensitive and is not accustomed to the change in atmosphere from undergrad to law school. If the prof really wanted to date her, he would have made it clear that he was asking her on a formal date--not lunch.


Quote from: J D link=topic=2724.msg19503#msg19503
date=1126478058
yeah, nice flame

And why, pray tell, are you so convinced that it is a flame, or bull?  You weren't there, and neither was I; we didn't hear the actual words said, didn't perceive the tone of the lunch proposal, weren't there to judge how bad the alleged grilling in class was or whether it had a nasty or retaliatory air about it. 
Quote
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

rapunzel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2005, 08:34:01 PM »
A lunch invite from a professor is not odd in and of itself, but it does seem odd in this context.  The OP stated that no real reltationship had developed.  The profs I've lunched with did not invite me to lunch in week one.  Rather, over time, I've networked with various professors and after getting to know them have had occasion to have lunch or coffee.  So this invite does sound a bit out of the blue.  Further, the reiteration of the invite in a manner that could easily be percieved as the only means to avoid in class grilling, well, I'm sorry, but that would make me uncomfortable too.

The OP has to trust her instinct here.  If something feels off, then she should honor that feeling.  The professor has a responsibility to teach his students, not make them uncomfortable or hold lunch dates over their heads.  This type of harrassment is particulary insideuous because it is so subtle.

Trust your gut.  Talk to the dean. 

joe

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2005, 09:12:01 PM »
Don't be jealous because no one would want your skanky ass anyways.

I too sense bull. Most professors are really cool and don't think that they can run the world and tell other ppl to date them AGAINST THEIR WILL!! Most schools have blind grading and he knows that. The registrar is the only group that knows your number and they are the ones that match up the grade for that number to your name. I'm sure that he knows about this and realizes that his line wouldn't work.

If anything, the prof just wants to treat you like an adult. Adults do go out to lunch together and discuss things. I've had a female prof take me to lunch to talk about how I thought the class was going. I've also gone out to lunch w/ a male prof, who is married, to talk more about my career goals. His wife and him even had a group of law students over for dinner once. Nothing improper ever happened.
 

joe

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2005, 09:13:20 PM »
Yeah A.J., you should definitely STFU dumbass!

yeah, nice flame

And why, pray tell, are you so convinced that it is a flame, or bull?  You weren't there, and neither was I; we didn't hear the actual words said, didn't perceive the tone of the lunch proposal, weren't there to judge how bad the alleged grilling in class was or whether it had a nasty or retaliatory air about it.  But the OP seemed to have been very uncomfortable with the whole thing, so uncomfortable, that she thought to solicit advice from fellow law students around the country.  Sexual harassment, or allegations thereof, or behavior that comes close to it, is not a joke and is not something you can just lightly dismiss.

As for the OP, my advice would be to go to the Dean (maybe Dean of Students if you don't want to march into the Dean of the Law School's Office immediately), but ONLY IF the requests for lunch continue, notwithstanding your indications that you're too busy or uninterested, and/or if you notice the treatment in class getting progressively worse.  If the requests continue despite your repeated refusals, ask him, firmly, to please not ask you again.  If it still continues, you might then consider going over his head.

STFU

joe

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2005, 09:14:25 PM »
Exactly! You know what you're talking about rapunzel!

A lunch invite from a professor is not odd in and of itself, but it does seem odd in this context.  The OP stated that no real reltationship had developed.  The profs I've lunched with did not invite me to lunch in week one.  Rather, over time, I've networked with various professors and after getting to know them have had occasion to have lunch or coffee.  So this invite does sound a bit out of the blue.  Further, the reiteration of the invite in a manner that could easily be percieved as the only means to avoid in class grilling, well, I'm sorry, but that would make me uncomfortable too.

The OP has to trust her instinct here.  If something feels off, then she should honor that feeling.  The professor has a responsibility to teach his students, not make them uncomfortable or hold lunch dates over their heads.  This type of harrassment is particulary insideuous because it is so subtle.

Trust your gut.  Talk to the dean. 

Mary

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2005, 09:27:21 PM »
1- I would be feeling the same way she is.  You think being called on twice in one week for the entire class period is normal? How so giraffe lady?

2- Since classes just started, don't you think it's odd that a professor is already asking her out to lunch when they haven't even gotten to know each other?

3- What if the lunch date escalated into something more? Also, don't give me this bs about blind grading.  If a professor wants to find out who a student is, he can.

4- It starts with lunch honey.

5- Why did he ask her again after she already said her schedule was busy or something like that? Don't you think it's odd that when she came to his office that he said it would help her situation if they went to lunch? I think that's an odd statement.

6- Um, hello?? Who's going to come out and say that "I want to sleep with you!"

I don't think she's sensitive at all.

Personally, I believe that the she was just a little too sensitive.
1). If you get grilled in class and are unprepared, it's not going to be fun. She's right--it's humiliating. But this is true regardless of gender. He was just doing his job.

2). Every girl has experienced an unfounded belief that some guy likes her when really he does not. It's happened to me, as I'm sure that it has happened to you. Sometimes ppl just misread signs. Especially when you go from undergrad where profs go to great lengths to distance themselves from the students to law school where they treat you as one of them.

3). If her school has blind grading, as I'm 97% sure it does, he knows that she knows that a lunch date has no effect on her grade.

4). A LUNCH DATE!?! If a guy likes you, he will ask you to DINNER, not lunch. Lunch is something that colleagues do.

5). I doubt that the professor would keep pushing someone who has already turned him down. It would appear that they are treading on thin ice and they could then be risking their job. Most sexual harrassment occurs in the grey area. E.g. the lunch was consensual but the sexual advances weren't.

6). If I am reading the OP correctly, the prof has never implied that a sexual relation would occur b/w the two of them. It's not like he is asking her out to eat oysters.

Again, I just think that she is just a little too sensitive and is not accustomed to the change in atmosphere from undergrad to law school. If the prof really wanted to date her, he would have made it clear that he was asking her on a formal date--not lunch.


Quote from: J D link=topic=2724.msg19503#msg19503
date=1126478058
yeah, nice flame

And why, pray tell, are you so convinced that it is a flame, or bull?  You weren't there, and neither was I; we didn't hear the actual words said, didn't perceive the tone of the lunch proposal, weren't there to judge how bad the alleged grilling in class was or whether it had a nasty or retaliatory air about it. 
Quote

Mary

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2005, 09:29:00 PM »
Yeah, that's a real lawyerly like comment. ::)

yeah, nice flame

And why, pray tell, are you so convinced that it is a flame, or bull?  You weren't there, and neither was I; we didn't hear the actual words said, didn't perceive the tone of the lunch proposal, weren't there to judge how bad the alleged grilling in class was or whether it had a nasty or retaliatory air about it.  But the OP seemed to have been very uncomfortable with the whole thing, so uncomfortable, that she thought to solicit advice from fellow law students around the country.  Sexual harassment, or allegations thereof, or behavior that comes close to it, is not a joke and is not something you can just lightly dismiss.

As for the OP, my advice would be to go to the Dean (maybe Dean of Students if you don't want to march into the Dean of the Law School's Office immediately), but ONLY IF the requests for lunch continue, notwithstanding your indications that you're too busy or uninterested, and/or if you notice the treatment in class getting progressively worse.  If the requests continue despite your repeated refusals, ask him, firmly, to please not ask you again.  If it still continues, you might then consider going over his head.

STFU

Mary

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2005, 09:31:12 PM »
Classes just started for a majority of the students if I'm not mistaken. What material would she need help with at this point in the early semester?

She should of gone to lunch w/him???  You sound so f*n retarded. 

WTF? Sexual Harrassment? For all you know he wants to help you out with the class material. I can't believe all the alarmist bull on this thread. You should have gone to lunch with him. The best move to make now is to apologize for turning down the first time and ask him if you can reschedule now. If he starts putting the moves on you at that meeting, THEN you have something to discuss with the dean. Or not. 

Mary

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: My professor and an uncomfortable situation...
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2005, 09:32:03 PM »
If you can't be of help to the poster, don't post! :D

yeah, nice flame