The annual International Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference
, led by Bernardo Gallegos, is happening in Spokane this year. And fortunately for us, it is being co-sponsored by EWU.
I think the conference is generally a great idea. And the topic is one that many of us need to study more deeply. Additionally, some of the speakers will be powerful and amazing.
But there is a problem.
Dr. Gallegos is a slimeball. See, he has this reputaiton for sexually harassing graduate students.
But, my fellow Eagles, the fact that he sexually harassed a graduate student is only one problem. And in all honesty, if he publicly owned his behavior, apologized to his victim, and tried to make amends, I'd really have no problem with it. I'd think he had a lapse of judgement and was trying to make amends.
But he hasn't done any of that. In fact, if anything, he's dug in and worked his ass off to fight and discredit the victim. I guess that's the system, right?
Well, there is more to it than that. See, the victim was one of us. She was an alum of EWU. A former McNair Scholar. And active in the Chicano Education program. She is now a PhD student at WSU.
She is one of us.
And we (our tax and tuition and alumni contributions) are financially supporting a conference this slimeball is leading.
Word on the street is that our president is friends with this slimeball. And has set aside a large amount of money so students can attend. Perhaps some of us should take advantage of that money and engage in a little resistance? We don't have to be disruptive or break the law (although that is a completely individual decision). Since the university is likely to give the money to the conference even if we don't attend, we should go and take signs. They can be simple signs that say "SHAME ON YOU GALLEGOS" or "EWU - A SEXUAL HARASSMENT FREE ZONE" or "WE SUPPORT OUR SEXUALLY HARASSED ALUMNI." You get the picture, right?
You can also let the folks at our student news paper know. I'm sure they'd be interested in the story. If enough of us write in, perhaps they'll even cover it.
Anyhow, I thought folks should know about this. It's important. And something should be done.
Some supporting so you don't think I'm making all this up... Gallegos in the SpokesmanGallegos in the Sound Politics blog
(yeah, the blog is kinda weak, but there are interesting links and other stories posted - esp. in the comment section).