Professor disqualified for sexual harassment

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/10 22:58:42

Sun Yat-sen University in South China's Guangdong Province warned and disqualified a sociology professor on Tuesday over sexual harassment cases from 2011 to 2017.

An investigation concluded that Zhang Peng, a professor at the university's School of Sociology and Anthropology, engaged in misconduct, and the university decided to suspend Zhang's courses and disqualify him as an adviser to students pursuing postgraduate studies, the university said in a Tuesday announcement.

Five female students at the university accused Zhang of sexual harassment, claiming in an online article that Zhang had harassed them and female teachers when they were engaged in field work or discussing their thesis.

The women first released the article on 163.com, which was later removed. China News Week quoted the university on Tuesday as saying that part of the accusations in the online article are inconsistent with the facts, without elaborating.

In response to accusations that he hugged a student, Zhang said he was comparing her weight to a monkey's.

An employee of the university's publicity office declined to comment about the case when reached by the Global Times.

Zhang said that he was just joking around when he hugged a girl during field work, saying he was weighing a "monkey," and the girl was not heavier than a monkey, Xiao A (pseudonym), one of the five students, told China News Week.

Xiao A said she knows of at least nine victims.

She added that women have reported Zhang to university officials in April and May.

"Authorities said that Zhang would be seriously punished," saud Xiao A. But the result could not meet the students' expectations, Xiao A stressed.

Sexual harassment cases on campus have been exposed in recent months in China. Shen Yang, a former Peking University professor, reportedly sexually harassed his student Gao Yan two decades ago. Gao killed herself by jumping off a building in 1988.

Government authorities should establish a mechanism to help protect students who are harassed, Huang Yizhi, a Beijing-based lawyer who specializes in gender discrimination, told the Global Times.



Posted in: SOCIETY

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