On Jan. 6, Harvey Palmer, dean of Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE), sent an e-mail to the students, staff and faculty of the college to address an incident of “inappropriate and harassing language” directed at a female student.
The incident has been investigated and referred to Student Conduct.
Palmer said this is about disrespect. “It’s all about people being disrespectful to one another,” he said. Palmer explained that students are changing from adolescents into young professionals, and they need to learn how to respect each other while in college.
Jodi Carville, program manager for WE@RIT, said by e-mail, that she was unaware of any incidents of sexual harassment. WE@RIT is a KGCOE organization that aims to increase the representation of women in the engineering field through outreach and community building. Julie Olney, a former program manager for WE@RIT, indicated that she was also unaware of any incidents.
There was some confusion when the e-mail initially did not reach students of the Chemical or Biomedical Engineering programs. The omission occured because those students were not listed as members of KGCOE in the Information & Technology Services mailing list. They have since been added and received the e-mail.
Palmer believes people of all types should respect and support each other in the engineering community. “We want to set the standard,” he said. The purpose of the e-mail was to give students the power to speak up when harassment occurs. “Even if this is a single incident, we should call these people out,” he said.