News | Student Life

Ph.D. student alleges he was sexually harassed, unfairly fired

When Alberto Leguina arrived at Columbia from his native Chile last March to pursue his Ph.D., he expected to work hard, spend lots of money on expensive food, and maybe find rats or bugs in his New York apartment. Instead, in the span of three months, he said he found himself sexually harassed by his supervisor, shunned by a Columbia human resources officer, and fired from his dream job.

Leguina, 25, has filed a lawsuit against the University claiming that he was unfairly fired after he complained that he was sexually harassed by his supervisor, Qais Al-Awqati, a professor of medicine, nephrology and hypertension at the Medical Center.

Shortly after Leguina began working as a staff associate in the division of nephrology in the department of medicine, he said, Al-Awqati harassed him. Leguina reported the incident to his other supervisor, assistant professor of clinical medicine Rosemary Sampogna, who then directed him to human resources representative Mayra Marte-Miraz, director of operations for the department of medicine.

According to Leguina, Marte-Miraz said she would help him file a formal complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, which handles investigations against faculty and staff in cases of discrimination and harassment. Leguina said he never met with anyone from EOAA and that Sampogna turned hostile after he asked for further help.

Leguina continued working in the lab, but in June, Columbia fired him without notice or explanation, according to the lawsuit.

A Columbia spokesperson declined to comment, citing pending litigation. Al-Awqati deferred comment to the spokesperson, and Sampogna and Marte-Miraz did not respond to requests for comment.

In addition to granting Spectator an interview, Leguina provided extensive documentation of his story, including emails and text messages between himself and Marte-Miraz as well as with his supervisor in Chile.

Leguina’s story is the second Spectator has reported this year describing the University’s lack of response to sexual harassment complaints against its employees.

‘I was all by myself’
After his first few days at Columbia, Leguina had not seen much of Al-Awqati but was working well with Sampogna, his immediate supervisor. On March 9, Leguina received a message on Grindr, a smartphone application for gay and bisexual men looking to meet others, asking him if he “would date an older man,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 27.

Leguina, uninterested, said he ignored the message, and when it was followed by a picture of Al-Awqati, he figured it was a prank.

However, the response convinced him the message really was from the professor. “I have many guys as beautiful and as young as you,” Al-Awqati responded on Grindr, according to the lawsuit. “So it is not a joke. You need to have better manners when in New York. Maybe in Argentina or Chile, you are a spoiled Mamma’s boy.”

Leguina said he was confused—was this really one of the leading experts in hypertension? “Qais Al-Awqati was the one who I wanted to work with. He’s a reference for me,” he said. “It was my dream. I was doing what I wanted, I was working on what I wanted, with whom I really wanted to work.”

While Leguina did not have screenshots of the exchange, he said that he was working to get Grindr to provide them for trial.

As soon as Leguina rejected the advance, Al-Awqati, who was in the next room, stormed out and screamed “You are out!” Leguina said he began to cry and felt panicked, thinking he’d been fired.

Sampogna witnessed the incident, according to the lawsuit, and promised Leguina that she would help him retain his job and report the situation to the human resources department.

Leguina met with Marte-Miraz in HR on March 15. “She promised me that nothing was going to happen, that they were going to make an investigation,” Leguina said. “She said, ‘Don’t worry, I promise you your work is not going to be affected.’”

Only a few days later, Marte-Miraz allegedly told Leguina to “deal with this matter as a big man” and that he “must pretend nothing happened.” She threatened to send Leguina back to Chile if he hired a lawyer and told him he could not contact any authorities in Chile regarding the situation, according to Leguina.

“I agreed. In that moment I was scared, I was all by myself. I said, OK, I trust human resources. I said, maybe this is how you do it. I just want to work,” Leguina said.

During the meeting, Leguina also said Marte-Miraz said to him that if Al-Awqati was “young and sexy” Leguina would “not have said no to the sexual advance.”

Leguina responded that her comment seemed “very inappropriate for a human resources director to say,” but she shrugged him off, he said. He asked Marte-Miraz again about filing a formal complaint with EOAA and she said she was busy, giving him several excuses.

Impossible work conditions
Near the end of March, Al-Aqwati apologized to Leguina for the sexual advance and gave him a MacBook, according to the lawsuit. Leguina asked Marte-Miraz about the gift, and was informed that this was Columbia’s standard practice. Leguina said no one ever asked him to sign any paperwork regarding the laptop and he was told it was his to take home.

Soon after, Al-Awqati cut off all communication, and Sampogna, who had previously been supportive of Leguina, suddenly turned cold, Leguina recounted. She avoided speaking to Leguina, instead emailing him short to-do lists with little explanation and yelling at him when anything went wrong. In one instance, Leguina said Sampogna even kicked a piece of furniture after he asked her for assistance.

“I kept working hard, doing all my stuff. I wanted to succeed, I wanted to make work, that’s what I wanted. I tried to not think about it,” Leguina said. “But in the moment everything was super aggressive and it was terrible. I was feeling so bad, I couldn’t sleep. I was shaking in the morning thinking about how I had to go to the lab, what was going to happen today.”

Leguina said these new working conditions made it almost impossible for him to do his job. On May 10, Leguina met with Marte-Miraz to seek help regarding the behavior he saw as retaliation for complaining about Al-Awqati’s sexual harassment.

According to the lawsuit, Marte-Miraz accused Leguina of posting bad things about Sampogna on his Facebook page. When Leguina provided Marte-Miraz with a printout of his Facebook page, which did not reference Sampogna, Marte-Miraz told him, “Your mind is clouded and your stress is simply because you are from a small country and this is New York and you just need to learn.”

She also called him “too emotional” and told him he needed to deal with the situation in the “American way,” Leguina said.

“In that moment it went from bad to worse. I couldn’t believe the things I was hearing from human resources, that somebody was so disrespectful,” Leguina said.

Nowhere to turn
According to the lawsuit, Marte-Miraz told Leguina that he should meet with Sampogna in order to improve communication in the lab. Sampogna was not available, and so Leguina said he had to meet with Al-Awqati alone.

Al-Awqati allegedly told Leguina that he had poor work habits and was absent from work. When Leguina tried to refute the accusations and ask how he could improve, the professor interrupted and said he believed Leguina’s work was suffering “because he was in New York and this city is too excited for somebody coming from a small country.”

The lawsuit states that Al-Awqati then arranged weekly private meetings with Leguina, during which Leguina was required to present his work. At the first meeting, Al-Awqati told Leguina he was impressed with his skills and intelligence, but, later, he continued to express dissatisfaction with Leguina’s work.

“I don’t know where I [got] all that energy to do it,” Leguina said, referring to the weekly meetings. “But I think it was my desire to not waste this opportunity. I think about everything that I went through to just come here and do it.”

Leguina said the situation continued to cause him so much stress that he emailed his supervisor in Chile to ask for help. The lawsuit also claims that Leguina had to take prescription medicine to control his sleeping and depression.

The lawsuit states that Al-Awqati sent a “derogatory” email on March 17 to Leguina’s supervisor in Chile, Gloria Valdes, claiming that Leguina was “not performing at the level of a graduate student.”

Despite these criticisms, Leguina won an award for feature poster presentation at an annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension on March 19.

The situation continued to deteriorate, and on June 8, Leguina received an email from his supervisors in Chile saying that, due to the feedback from Al-Awqati, he needed to leave his position at Columbia and return to Chile.

Leguina said that although Al-Awqati expressed concern upon seeing the Chilean supervisors’ response, he continue to criticize Leguina’s work. When Leguina brought up the sexual harassment, Al-Awqati became nervous and said, “It has nothing to do with that, but if you need to return to Chile, then just go.”

The lawsuit alleges that the University terminated Leguina’s employment on or around June 12, but Leguina said he never received any official notice. One day he tried to log into a computer using his UNI, and found his account deleted.

“If you think about it, he fired me the long way. He couldn’t fire me immediately because there was the sexual harassment complaint even though nobody filed it. He is very smart: He sent this bad report so the people in Chile would fire me,” Leguina said.

Columbia has not formally responded to the lawsuit, although a pretrial conference is set for Oct. 1, according to court records.

Leguina will return to Chile at the end of October because he cannot afford to live in New York without an income. He plans to resume his studies at Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University and get his Ph.D., but now he also has other plans for the future.

“I want to work as an activist and be part of that,” Leguina said. “I want the truth to be out. I want justice, I want to warn other people, I want to show that you can do this and survive this.”

abby.abrams@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

I am trying to find out if there has been any progress with the few alleged sexual harassment and assault complaints filed against Columbia faculty at the end of last year and earlier this year.

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John FMA Smithson posted on

I recently came across this article, have read it a few times now and would like to provide this feedback. Much of this article seems extremely biased and circumstantial. Moreover, i find it difficult to believe that not one factual piece of evidence is sited to corroborate much of the hearsay and opinion of this student's one-sided account. Although this professor must obviously be "very smart" as stated, I cant believe he's that good to not leave one damaging piece of hard evidence, a broken relationship or work colleague to corroborate in damaging his reputation, or not one other harassment case against him that i can find on the internet !
Sceptical at the very best.

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Anonymous posted on

This is not the first Al-Awqati's case , is just the first one that was made public. One of his first victims was Professor Michael Kanellis from the University of Iowa, back in the 70', when Al-Awqati was his mentor.
This case was so full of evidence that Columbia had to make a protective order, Al-Awqati is a pig from head to toe.

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Anonymous posted on

Llevo mas de un ano soportando abusos de acosos y acosos sexuales mediante los telefonos inteligentes, y ya no trabajo en ese lugar, pero tienen conecciones que me persiguen las 24 hrs. del dia y son varias personas quienes hacen posible este ataque, he tratado de que esto termine pero los abusos van de aumento, me corrieron del trabajo precisamente por defenderme contra los ataques, por favor necesito ayuda urgente, esto me lastima emocionalmente, fisicamente y demas. Gracias y que Dios los Bendiga. Can you please Help me I am living at Texas

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Anonymous posted on

Hay personas sin escrupulos que acosas sin importar hasta donde hacen dano emocional y fisicamente, y estoy cansada de sufrir estas atrocidades, y personas hasta casados ya siendo abuelos y teniendo 70 anos de edad, tienen en el sistema de computadoras esos jueguitos virtuales, y de alli los hacen llegar a mi cuerpo, y no solo eso, sino que cada dia se vuelven mas fuertes y con mayor frecuencia, urge que obtenga una ayuda para que esto pare, y lo peor del caso es que hay conocimiento de ello y nadie de los complices para el acoso, esto es inconcebible.

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Anonymous posted on

Hay personas sin escrupulos que acosas sin importar hasta donde hacen dano emocional y fisicamente, y estoy cansada de sufrir estas atrocidades, y personas hasta casados ya siendo abuelos y teniendo 70 anos de edad, tienen en el sistema de computadoras esos jueguitos virtuales, y de alli los hacen llegar a mi cuerpo, y no solo eso, sino que cada dia se vuelven mas fuertes y con mayor frecuencia, urge que obtenga una ayuda para que esto pare, y lo peor del caso es que hay conocimiento de ello y nadie de los complices para el acoso, esto es inconcebible.

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Anonymous posted on

Hay personas sin escrupulos que acosas sin importar hasta donde hacen dano emocional y fisicamente, y estoy cansada de sufrir estas atrocidades, y personas hasta casados ya siendo abuelos y teniendo 70 anos de edad, tienen en el sistema de computadoras esos jueguitos virtuales, y de alli los hacen llegar a mi cuerpo, y no solo eso, sino que cada dia se vuelven mas fuertes y con mayor frecuencia, urge que obtenga una ayuda para que esto pare, y lo peor del caso es que hay conocimiento de ello y nadie de los complices para el acoso, esto es inconcebible.

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Anonymous posted on

If the accusations are true, this might be the worst scandal at Columbia yet. Truly a failure from top to bottom. I'd be fascinated to know what made HR so reluctant to help, and why people gradually turned against Leguina. Were they put under pressure from higher ups to sweep this under the rug? Amazing article.

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sassymacgeek posted on

Because the reality is that most students, specially PhDs, will tolerate the abuse. Thnk about the opportunity that is presented to them. You can be our slave for at least two years and you leave with a Doctorate from Columbia. I am sure a lot of other people just let is slide and I don't doubt it is their modus operandi.

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Anonymous posted on

2 years? Are you delusional? Medical PhDs are at least 4 years and normally over 5.

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Anonymous posted on

Also, most people US citizens don't go for PhDs in the US due to their poor earnings potential as compared to getting an MBA, JD, or MD. So what happens is that most science PhD departments are filled with foreign PhD candidates who desperately want the opportunity to work 5+ years living in squalor and terrible harassment. It's intellectual slavery.

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rick131 posted on

This all could have been avoided by early intervention and early discipline. He probably was not taken seriously because he is a male, the complaint would have been handled completely differently if it were from a female.

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Anonymous posted on

except that the last prominent case mentioned was about a woman who also received little to no help, and finished her degree from abroad out of fear.

wether you're a man, woman, or anything in between, the university's policy on sexual harassment seems the same: put up and shut up, or get out.

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Anonymous posted on

Go on columbias website and try and find the sexual harrassment policy, its a dead link

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Anonymous posted on

Does anyone remember the case Politics Professor had sexual relationship in her office with her student just few years ago and got fired? They all went to the court. Then what did the Head of the HR do while they were suing? People graduate and forget, right? But the HR?

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Anonymous posted on

Does anyone remember the case Politics Professor had sexual relationship in his office with his student just few years ago and got fired? They all went to the court. Then what did the Head of the HR do while they were suing? People graduate and forget, right? But the HR?

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Anonymous posted on

Fire Sampogna and Al-Awqati today.

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rick131 posted on

Columbia can't fire any of these people, the doctor, or the HR. They are all minorities and they will sue too if they are fired.

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Anonymous posted on

Well if the student wins the suit, and it sounds to me he's got a very strong case--esp. if his lawyers indeed do subpoena those Grindr exchanges--then he will have provided more than enough evidence to show that all 3 of them failed in their obligations to the University: 1) for the sexual harassment, which warrants termination in itself; 2) for failure to record and investigate a sexual harassment claim, which the University itself states it is obligated to do in accordance with Title IX federal sex discrimination law; and 3) for discriminatory comments and behavior on the basis of national origin. Oh, and they'll have costed Columbia millions, if not tens of, and CU don't like when ppl fux their money.

Besides, they all mistreated a lower-class gay medical-research-award-winning Hispanic foreigner; I doubt the race/ethnicity card will be of any use if that mistreatment justifies termination (as it most certainly should for anyone employed in the fields of academia and/or human resources...).

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angeleno posted on

What is this "minority" jazz? I thought we're all equal in this country, LOL. Actually the "minorities" are in charge but if this kid's story is true, and it seems so, then some of the minorities pick on others, especially the newcomers. Sounds like a nasty nest of vipers. When do they get their work done? Is this the great educatiion and research I hear about in fund-raising letters? I really have to laugh at the part about this great doctor hiding in the next room and using his "grindr" to
proposition the new kid in the lab. "This is the Big Apple, everyone must submit to the great Al-Awqati." They should shut down this sex lab and give the money to the football team.

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Anonymous posted on

Miraz, Sampagnia, and Al-Awquati may have cost the school a few million. This kid is going to live large very soon.

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CSF posted on

This is the problem with Columbia's HR policy - each department has a person handling complaints as opposed to an independent office. I worked in a lab at the 168th/medical campus where I and others were cursed out by a senior postdoc on a daily basis and had furniture thrown at us so we had to hide in another room, and all the senior researchers/faculty would do was say that the postdoc was smart so they were not about to lose him (even though smart post docs are literally a dime a dozen, especially in this economy). There was nowhere to turn in my department, and we felt very alone and depressed. Luckily I was able to leave Columbia for a job at a University that is concerned with my safety.

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Anonymous posted on

Has anyone ever seen Malice starring Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman? What if this kid get 2 million from Columbia and distributes it equally to the pinheads that worsened this incident?

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Anonymous posted on

as someone who once worked in a lab with a horrible tenured PI, i can attest to the general lack of concern for the welfare of the underlings. the PI did plenty of things that were illegal and unethical and when her personal assistant complained, HR just moved the assistant to a different department. it's unfortunately probably rampant across the university, and i think Leguina is very brave to press his suit, even though it will probably be settled or the university will try to paint him as being receptive to the advances of his boss. i hope something positive comes out of this for not only him but for the general university community.

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Anonymous posted on

I heard a lot of bad news for Columbia HR. The problems are not just between the students and the faculty. They are also between the employees and their employers or the staff members and the Departments. There have been indeed sexual harassment, discrimination based on the race/skin color, politics etc. These things happened to some Professors too. I had a chance to see what is really going on at Columbia and how Columbia HR dealt with these problem. I don't want to mention any specific names but anyone in Columbia community will know what is going on but somehow we also know that we cannot spit it out. Don't blame the low ranking workers, whom you can meet by the appointment. It is their Department Dean or Director who really know what is going on. It is not the worst scandal.

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Anonymous posted on

This explains the now-mandatory sexual harassment training for CUMC students.

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Anonymous posted on

This is really bad journalism. When writing such a groundbreaking story with such serious allegation, I would expect such an esteemed publication to interview than one person.

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ColumbiaSpectator posted on

Thanks for the concern, Anonymous. As noted in the story, Spectator requested interviews or comments from many parties—including Columbia University, Al-Awqiti, Sampogna, and Marte-Miraz—all of whom declined comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

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anon posted on

Sounds like are a relationship gone bad. I guess men can be scorned too.

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Anonymous posted on

In the olden days, we used to graciously decline someone's advance, then move on. Today people complain and sue. You also have to interview the doctor, and the HR, and Columbia to make this article even remotely fair and balanced.

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ostracario posted on

In the olden days...when was that? Did you even read the article. Leguina did decline professor perv's advances but he wouldn't take no for an answer. To answer your other criticism, if you'd bothered to read the article you'd know that the reporter did request for comments from everyone involved but they declined. Due to the ongoing lawsuit they wouldn't be allowed to discuss the situation anyway.

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SoBeSparky posted on

"In the olden days?"

In the olden days female American Natives were raped and black slaves were whipped and...on and on.

Get the idea? Sexual harassment is evil.

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Anonymous posted on

We know nothing about this situation. This guy could be making the whole thing up. He could have been a horrendous researcher who is just vengeful that he was fired and lost his nice New York apartment. I can't tell from this article.

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ostracario posted on

Right. Blame the victim.

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Anonymous posted on

You missed the whole part about this all being documented. He was sent an electronic message on Grindr. Hello! Digital paper trail.

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Anonymous posted on

This kind of response would never be tolerated in a private company. The financial risk is WAY too high. All he needs to prove is a work environment that made him uncomfortable. In private industry, managers are all trained about the risk involved in sexual harassment, what counts as a hostile work environment (and it can be simply cursing that makes people uncomfortable) what to do in terms of notifying HR, and how HR should handle these investigations.

If even half of the claims in the article are true, Columbia will be found liable and pay big money in both a settlement and a fine.

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BobSF_94117 posted on

You sign up on Grindr in the hopes that someone will approach you. Someone does. The horror!!!!!!!!

I notice that the article doesn't describe exactly how this young man turned down his admirer. Odd. Quotes from one side, but not the other, even though the young man must know what he typed in response.

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Kaibelf posted on

What a piggish thing to say. So a girl raped on the way home from a night at a bar wants it from anyone on the street?

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BobSF_94117 posted on

No, a girl who signs up on a straight equivalent of Grindr and gets approached shouldn't be shocked that she gets approached. Why you would leap to any other conclusion is a question perhaps best addressed by a therapist.

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Anonymous posted on

I am sure it states that he was uninterested and did not reply. I don't reply to people on Grindr all the time. It is not a social app, it is a sex app.

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BobSF_94117 posted on

It says he ignored the FIRST text. It doesn't say he ignored the second. At some point, something led the older man to scold him on his manners.

As for your not replying, a simple "no thanks" is polite. You need not be polite, of course.

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Anonymous posted on

Or here is a thought, maybe a professor shouldn't contact his student or someone under him on a social app used for hooking up. It's not a matter of manners, it's a matter of professional ethics. If the professor did approach this young man on Grindr that was his first mistake and he deserves whatever punishment he gets.

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BobSF_94117 posted on

Here's another thought. Sign up on Grindr. See if you can identify everyone you see on there.

Some guys don't post face pics. Some guys don't turn on geopositioning. This article presents only one side of the story and doesn't provide any details about the exchange. For all we know, the professor had no idea he was hitting on a grad student. And even if he did, they're adults. You go to work with Grindr turned on, you risk someone you work with hitting on you.

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Anonymous posted on

Interesting case. I don't know what Columbia's policies are, but in any case it is simply wrong to make sexual/romantic advances to a student/employee under your supervision. I imagine and would hope that is clear in Columbia's policy. At the same time it is indeed possible that Leguina was not doing good work, and that's why he lost his job, and now he's claiming that sexual harassment (or revenge for a spurned advance) was behind the ongoing criticisms of his work and his dismissal. In Leguina's narrative as reported in this article, there's no assertion of ongoing harassment (unwanted advances, inducements for sexual activity, etc.).

I'm a gay male professor at another institution who is attracted to younger guys, a subset of whom are attracted (often very much so) to older guys. We all have the right to play on Grindr on other apps, and unless there are face shots, we don't know who each other is. Sometimes there's just a torso, or a photo of something else (like a building or landscape). So I may not know it's my student, or a student where I teach. I do what I can to make sure I don't flirt or ask out someone who is my student or a student in my area--or accept an invitation from someone in one of those categories, so I'm very careful about this when I'm at home (which is near campus).

If Al-Awqati did know it was Leguina on Grindr, then it was inappropriate for him to ask him out or pressure him, even on one occasion. Did Al-Awqati have a strong emotional reaction and then get over it, keep professional, and deal with someone doing substandard work? Or did he falsely claim Leguina's work was poor in order to get rid of him? That will be a mess to sort out. Harassment is usually defined as more than one brief incident.

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Anonymous posted on

You'd think of all people a female Human Resources officer would be sensitive to documented and witnessed incidents of sexual harrassment. Marte-Miraz should be fired immediately.

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Anonymous posted on

An institution of such advanced studies fails at supporting the simplest of human qualities, fairness and justice. Why is that?

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Anonymous posted on

An institution of such advanced studies fails in supporting the simplest of human qualities, fairness and justice. Why is that?

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sassymacgeek posted on

I have heard a lot of bad stories about the Columbia bureaucracy and the power trips of truly incompetent administrators. Horrors! I am not surprised one bit that this happened and it is shameful that an Ivy League school like Columbia has not one, but several very well paid directorates that have no idea what is going on in their institutions. One of the worst places to work for in all of academia.

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Anonymous posted on

All these articles about the case paints him as a victim before there's even a trial. Anyone thought that the Professor could be innocent?

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Anonymous posted on

Hmm…this Alberto guy contacted me last year on an application similar to Grindr…called Scruff. Turns out he's a pretentious, self-absorbed little boy.

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Anonymous posted on

Give him a brake! he wasn't even in USA "last year" (documented by the homeland security register). Comments to blame the victim in something more important that is happening in Columbia, come on!

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Anonymous posted on

I didn't say he was in the U.S. last year, did I? Also, I wasn't placing blame on him, I was giving my impressions of him based on my interactions with him on Scruff.

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Anonymous posted on

Also…it's spelled break….not BRAKE.

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Anonymous posted on

There are no protections within academia.

I was seriously bullied by a young assistant professor (who was
younger than I was) when I was a PhD student, and I simultaneously was
sexually harrassed by a second assistant professor. The head of the
department had passed away unexpectedly, and there was a power vacuum
and wild-west kind of atmosphere, where people felt they could get away
with more than normal.

However, the bullying professor actually had a
track record of picking one new grad student in each intake year, and
his aim was to make them quit by the second year. When I started the
Phd, I was warned about this by some of the grad students who were more
advanced in the program than I was, but I had made it to my mid-30s
without being bullied in my adult/working life, and I actually had
always been on good terms with that man in the past (I had known him for
2 years already), so I didn't think that I would be the one out of my
classmates to become that man's target. But I was. Two former students
had sued him because his actions were illegal, but the university's
board threw all their legal might behind the case and the two students
lost their fight. That legal verdict was decided the year before I
began the program. So, when I was being bullied, even though I took
documentation of what was being done to me, plus witnesses, to the
professor in charge of advising the first-year students as well as to
the administrative dean, they both were silent and said that nothing
could be done to help me. I could not believe that an academic
institution (a "good" and historical one) and its managers would be so
unfair, immoral, and weak. I didn't even complain about the sexual
harrassment by the other asst. prof., because I knew that it would be
taken even less seriously.

The last straw was when the bully told me
that if I didn't leave the program at the end of the first year, that
when I took his required class in the second year, he would "fail" me in
that class, and one fail in the entire 5-year program meant that a
student was expelled from the program, so he told me he was "being a
'friend' and saving you time and effort by telling you to give up now
instead of dragging it out for another year." He told me that when other
students were with me! I got good grades (had been awarded a 5-year
full scholarship, in fact) and there was no question that I would ever
fail any class normally -- and of course ridiculous to say that you
would fail a student before even one assignment was turned in -- it was
just one way of threatening me, and when the first-year-students'
advisor and the administrative dean told me there was nothing they could
do to stop him from failing me. My career is ruined.

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Jumanne Bakari Langston posted on

I really don't buy this story...the 'comments' he claims were directed his way sound incredibly juvenile and quite simply not like the type of statements one would hear from people as accomplished in their respective professions as those referenced. I think this kid just couldn't cut it...knew his superior was gay (perhaps even had some innocuous social experiences with the professor or supervisor)...and crafted this ridiculous story to avoid having to return home. And on a snarky note...why were you on grindr at work!

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Anonymous posted on

whatre the odds that the late-appearing naysayer anonymouses are all establishment stooges and scum of the administration

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Anonymous posted on

The big issue here is not that the prof talked to phd student on grinder. It's that when he tried to file a harassment complaint (which for all we know he would have lost) THE HR PERSON WOULDN'T LET HIM. That is the big deal. Columbia refused this guy's right to file his complaint.

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Anonymous posted on

OMG we should urge the university to tell us the truth!!!

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Anonymous posted on

Oh my God. That is absurd. Have YOU thought about suing? Or at least going public with the names of these people??

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