“Jane,” the South Korean undergrad who kicked a hornet’s nest of controversy when her story of a professor’s sexual misconduct was told in The Bulletin last week, says she hasn’t heard anything new from the administration.
She also assumes she is still under the requirements of the Non-Disclosure Agreement that Emporia State forced her to sign when she reported Brian Schrader, tenured professor of psychology, of sexual misconduct. The Non-Disclosure Agreement forbade Jane from talking to others about the case and threatened discipline if she did.
“I think others should know my story,” Jane said in an interview with The Bulletin Tuesday night. “I don’t even have any expectations of them (administration responding), so I don’t have any disappointment...The school seems to be waiting for the incident to become quiet.”
The Bulletin is continuing to withhold Jane’s real name to protect her against the stigma of reporting sexual misconduct. The Bulletin is naming Schrader because of the “preponderance of evidence” that indicated he violated the university’s sexual conduct policy, according to a summary of the investigation, which Jane provided.
When Jane reported the incident to campus police, they logged the incident as “sexual battery,” according to police logs from May 25, 2017. She told police that Schrader took her into a storage room in Visser Hall and attempted to kiss her and touched her inappropriately.
Schrader was still employed at the university as of Wednesday night, according to Ray Lauber, director of human resources, affirmative action and Title IX coordinator.
When asked whether they were in violation of the Clery Act, the administration, through spokesperson Gwen Larson, assistant director of marketing and media relations, asked The Bulletin which provision of the Clery Act The Bulletin believed they had violated.
“We’re not going to do the university’s work for them,” said Rayna Karst, editor-in-chief of The Bulletin and senior English major. “If they don’t understand that historically the Department of Education has barred universities from using gag orders for victims of sexual assault, then they need better advice from experts. The university’s response to this seems to be to cloud the issue with a smoke screen of legalese. We stand by our reporting, our concern for Jane and all of the other students on campus.”
“It doesn’t make sense for a student newspaper to determine the liability of a university who has general counsel,” said Max Kautsch, a press lawyer from Lawrence.
“The Clery Act contains the Campus Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights, which requires colleges to disclose educational programming, campus disciplinary process, and victim rights regarding sexual violence complaints,” according to knowyourix.org.
“I don’t understand why the university thinks that an instance of sexual assault would not be compiled and reported as part of its’ responsibilities under the Clery Act,” Kautsch said. “How does an instance of sexual assault not fall under the Clery Act?”
The Bulletin’s adviser, Max McCoy, agreed.
“One of the responsibilities of an independent student press is to hold the administration’s feet to the fire, when necessary,” McCoy, a veteran reporter and professor of journalism, said. “I can think of few more important examples of this than in the case of ‘Jane’s Story,’ in which an undergraduate student was left feeling hopeless, and gagged by a non-disclosure agreement, after filing a misconduct complaint against a professor. The system seems designed not to serve justice, or the students, but to keep a lid on things at all costs.”
“I think she (President Allison Garrett) meant to be quiet about my case,” Jane said. “She is the highest person in the school and people will obey her so they won’t get fired.”
Garrett declined multiple interview requests from The Bulletin.
“I didn’t know many people would be mad about my case,” Jane said to The Bulletin during the Tuesday interview. “I am grateful to them (those showing their support online) and I think their words give me courage.”
Jane said she also found comfort in the opinion piece from “The Emporia Gazette” entitled “Zero Tolerance For Harassment.” She especially liked the quote, “ESU needs to have processes and procedures that protect students so they don’t feel “helpless,” as the young woman in the story said she felt.”
Jane said she also appreciated the message Megan McReynolds, ASG President and junior sociology major, sent to the students that asked them to wear black today.
“To stand in solidarity with the ‘Time’s Up’ movement and to rally for the town hall meeting, we encourage all Emporia State University students to wear black tomorrow, Thursday, February 22nd, to come together as a community to put an end to sexual harassment on ESU’s campus and beyond,” McReynolds said in an email to the student body Wednesday.
“I am grateful to her for trying to stand up with me about my case. I want to thank all who support me, including her,” Jane said Wednesday. “On the other hand, it is also dazing. Because I didn’t know that so many people would care about (me). Of course, I thank them. I would like to thank you one by one.”
Jane said she was concerned by the number of times she had heard people on campus ask Asian women, some of whom are her friends, if she was “Jane” from The Bulletin’s story.
“If people find out I’m the victim, I’d have a hard time going to school,” Jane said. “If my name is announced, people will know my face and there is a burden of feeling their eyes during school.”
Jane says she is still suffering from anxiety, but being able to tell her story and hearing the support from the campus and surrounding areas has made her feel better.