Former Vanderbilt Grad Student Files $US20 Million Lawsuit Claiming Sexual Harassment By Professor

A former Vanderbilt University graduate student has filed a $US20 million lawsuit against the school, claiming that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against by a professor, according to local news reports.

The former medical school student “alleges a pattern of abuse from a supervising professor and claims it continued even after it was reported,” local News Channel 5 reports. We first read about this lawsuit at Jezebel, which notes that the suit names various Vanderbilt administrators, including a dean, a chancellor, and a department director.

News Channel 5 broke out some of the specific claims made against Vanderbilt in the lawsuit:

“Consider this excerpt from the lawsuit: At a conference the professor ‘… required the female graduate students to attend a boat party where the male professors became intoxicated and were allowed to make romantic and sexual advances on the students.’

Then there’s this: The professor ‘would routinely call her ugly, fat and … a stupid in front of other students.’

The suit alleges he knew the graduate student was a recovering alcoholic and told her he wished she ‘would start drinking again because she would be more fun,’ and that ‘… she would be less stressed out if she had more sex.'”

The lawsuit also reportedly states that the professor’s supervisor said “that in his opinion it was nothing but a personality conflict” when the student informed him of the inappropriate actions.

Vanderbilt is one of over 70 schools currently under a Title IX investigation by the Department of Education for potential sexual assault policy violations.

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