Arts, Central New York, Syracuse

Students React to Allegations Against School of Architecture Professors

Slocum Hall is the home of architecture at Syracuse University. (c) 2018 James Hilepo


Click “Play” to hear student reaction to the allegations made in the public spreadsheet.

Audio Transcript: Hilepo_SUArchitectureReact_Script_4.9.18

By James Hilepo SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Students are reacting in the wake of a spreadsheet anonymously accusing five current and two former architecture professors at Syracuse University of inappropriate behavior. The list, which named over 150 professors from around the country, alleged various forms of misconduct, ranging from favoritism in class to sexual harassment and assault.

The Syracuse University professors named were accused of inappropriately touching female students as well as making comments about students’ physical appearances.

The list’s effects on the atmosphere for students in the school of architecture have been pronounced. One second-year student said the list has led to anxiety among the student body.

“Especially right after it came out,” she explained, “there was a lot of people who were uncomfortable, and there were some students who were borderline scared of going to studio.”

The student, a member of a class taught by one of the accused professors, said some of the professors have reached out to students to make them feel more comfortable as they continue to work with them, a choice which one student views as a positive.

“There’s not a very strong verification process for [the allegations] so when your name goes on there, it’s mud. So it’s very good that they are willing to have that discussion.”

Students and faculty discussed the situation at length during an open forum, which was originally intended to be a discussion on other various decisions and plans in the school of architecture. Administration made their stance clear, while students raised their concerns and asked many questions.

“Most of the comments that were given by the administration during that meeting were, ‘We cannot legally, like, open an investigation until someone comes forward,’ whereas students were more asking, ‘Well what culturally can we do to bring up this conversation?”

Syracuse University’s Title IX office will be assessing the School of Architecture over the coming weeks, according to an email from Dean Michael Speaks.