On Monday, UC Berkeley graduate students Kathleen Gutierrez and Erin Bennett filed formal complaints with the state of California against the university and professor Blake Wentworth, who they allege has sexually harassed and intimidated them over the course of several months.
The Guardian, which broke the story and has been following it closely since, has detailed a horrifying series of events that concluded with Wentworth returning to campus, apparently without formal consequence.
After Sunday’s article, protests swelled on campus as students grappled with the university’s track record when it comes to disciplining those accused of sexual assault and harassment. According to the same Guardian investigation, in a recent disclosure of documents, UC Berkeley revealed that it had had 19 recent instances of complaints being filed against university employees for violating sexual harassment policies. Repeatedly, lower ranking staff members were disciplined where tenured professors were not.
Wentworth denies the allegations, but other members of the faculty are furious, saying that the university is more interested in protecting its reputation than bringing justice for Gutierrez and Bennett.