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The Ombudsman's latest report on campus sexual harassment again cites graduate students as the most vulnerable target, representing 12 of the 16 cases reported to the office. The report, published in yesterday's Almanac, is a further elaboration of a report released early this year. It tallies the 16 sexual harassment complaints reported directly to the Ombudsman's office, as well as 26 other complaints forwarded to the office by outside agencies. Of the 16 cases reported to the office, 15 were filed by students. The new report offers some new information but few details on the 42 sexual harassment complaints filed between July 1, 1989, and June 30, 1990. It instead describes common themes among complaints and characterizes situations where individuals have felt sexually harassed. The report singles out graduate students as "the members of our community most vulnerable to sexual harassment." "In their student role they rely on close relationships with one advisor or at most with a few mentors to develop professionally for what they hope will be their life's career," the report states. "The student is almost entirely dependent on the faculty member's judgements, evaluations, and references, both during the years of University experience and thereafter on the job market." The summary also repeats previous statements that the complaints resulted in letters of reprimand, salary freezes and at least one case of expulsion for offenders. Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Vice Chair Elizabeth Hunt said last night both GAPSA and the Graduate Student Associations Council frequently hear stories of sexual harassment from graduate students. "I think sexual harassment is a problem pretty much limited to graduate students and it is, at this point, somewhat a byproduct of the thesis-writing professor-student relationship," Hunt said. "Professors are notorious for abusing that." She characterized sexual harassment as one of the more disturbing abuses of the professor-student relationship, but said even asking students to do menial chores such as feeding parking meters or babysitting constitutes a form of harassment. Hunt said she hopes for the appointment of a graduate student advocate for students to turn to in these instances. She said such an advocate would help balance the power professors wield over the students they advise. "Just because you're an apprentice doesn't mean you're a galley slave or a bedroom slave or any-other-type-of-room slave," Hunt added. University regulations describe sexual harassment as "any unwarranted sexual attention" that either "involves a stated or implicit threat to the victim's academic or employment status; has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's academic or work performance; and/or creates an intimidating or offensive academic, living, or working environment."

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