An accusatory flyer that appeared on campus in February has initiated an investigation to determine if a staff member or members tried to coerce students into sexual activities.
The flyer, which was posted in various buildings around campus on Feb. 13, showed what appeared to be texts between a student and an alleged professor. The text messages between the two show the alleged professor asking for massages and other physical actions within their office in exchange for payment.
“Professors/staff/admins who are using their positions of power at HSU to sexually exploit students on campus need to stop as THEY WILL BE OUTED,” said a portion of the flyer. “Humboldt State University needs to invest in an explicit reporting system and an institutional support system that students can rely on in situations of exploitation, racial bias, and any other -isms.”
On Feb. 14, administration sent out a campus-wide email acknowledging that they were made aware of the allegations.
“We are working institutionally to address gaps in accountability for all perpetrators of harm on campus,” said a joint email statement from Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lisa Bond-Maupin, Ph.D., and Interim Dean of Students Eboni Turnbow, Ph.D.
“We also believe there are important opportunities to expand safe, confidential reporting options for students and we will continue to work across our campus community to prioritize expanding these resources.”
Members of the Sex Workers Advocacy and Support Club (SWASC) released a joint statement in which they expressed their support for the anonymous creator of the flyer, stating that, “We trust that there is veracity behind the charges made against a so-far unidentified professor at HSU.”
The statement from SWASC was also made to clearly state their opinion that the alleged interaction on the flyer was not sex work.
“When a power imbalance exists, as in the case of a professor and student, a quid-pro-quo sexual interaction instigated by the professor is a coercive act,” the club’s statement said. “This is not a case of consensual sex work; it is an abuse of power on the part of the professor.”