Published: 25th April 2019
MCC Sexual Harrassment: ICC finds two professors guilty, one of abuse and another of staying silent on the matter. Ball in admin's court
Students from the Zoology department had complained about the R Raveen behaving inappropriately with them while they were on an excursion to Karnataka
The Internal Complaints Committee constituted by Madras Christian College has finally released the report of their enquiry into the sexual abuse allegations against the Zoology professor. According to the copy of the report handed to them, the students said that ICC has found the professor, R Raveen and his colleague, Samuel Tennyson (who encouraged his behaviour) guilty of sexually abusing the students and has directed the administration to take strict action against them.
The administration has stated that they will take appropriate action, Alexander Jesudadan, the principal said, "The management has received the ICC report and will take necessary action."
One of the students who was part of the enquiry said that the report consisted of a summary of the complaints, the witness accounts and the cross examination of the same. It also comprised of the list of allegations, against which the ICC had marked the statements as true or alse. "A lot of the witnesses had provided proof against the professor, these witnesses included staff members," the student said. In the conclusion of the report, the ICC had stated the definition of sexual harassment and then ended with: " In the light of the foregoing, it is the unanimous finding of the committee that the actions of the respondents, Dr Raveen and Dr Tennyson did constitute sexual harassment by creating a hostile work/ study environment that resulted in gender discrimination against the complainants and we hereby refer these findings to the Principal of the College in his use in his determining appropriate action," the student quoted
The ICC issued the 12-page letter stating the allegations, the result of their investigation and finally, their recommendation to the administration regarding the two professors. Copies of the 12-page letter were distributed among the women who were part of the enquiry.
Speaking about the ICC report, one of the victims said that the result was anyway expected, "We knew that this is what the ICC's decision would be. What we are waiting for now, is to see what action the management is going to take." When asked what they thought would be the right action, the student said, "Whatever action that a person who is guilty of such deeds deserved. We want the same action taken against the professor, that the administration would have taken against a student accused of the same thing," they said.
About two weeks ago, allegations of the sexual abuse became public. Students from the Zoology department had complained about the R Raveen behaving inappropriately with them while they were on an excursion to Karnataka. The students had said that he had entered their rooms and lay down with one of them. He had also made inappropriate comments about their bodies. The students had stated that they had approached Samuel Tennyson for help but he paid no attention to them and instead encouraged Raveen's behaviour. After the allegations became public, a few alumni had also claimed that they had been subject to similar situations.
According to the report, the students have said that the ICC has found both the professors guilty. Earlier this week, the students had approached the ICC seeking the results of the enquiry and were promised the report at the end of the week. The students had contemplated protesting incase the ICC did not stick to its work. Now that the report has been handed over to the victims, the students are now awaiting the decision of the administration.