ASU Alumna Jasmine Lester: University discouraged me from filing harassment complaint - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

ASU Alumna Jasmine Lester: University discouraged me from filing harassment complaint

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Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:15 am | Updated: 11:41 am, Fri May 2, 2014.

The federal government confirmed Thursday that Arizona State University is under investigation for the possible mishandling of a report of sexual assault or harassment.

An ASU alum wants to trigger a second inquiry.

Jasmine Lester said she plans to file a Title IX complaint against the school sometime in the next few weeks.

"Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education

programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance," according to a U.S. Department of Education news release.

ASU is one of dozens of schools nationwide with an active Title IX investigation involving sexual assault or harassment, the Thursday release said.

Lester said she will file her complaint because, among other reasons, a university administrator discouraged her from filing a sexual harassment complaint within the university system.

Lester said a professor flirted with her for more than a year, took her out for drinks, and created "sexual tension."

"'We're talking about sexual harassment as more of a shove you up against the wall kind of thing,'" the school's Title IX coordinator said, according to Lester.

After Lester persisted and filed a report, the school found no evidence of sexual harassment, Lester said.

She said parties with a stake in the investigation went on a smear campaign against her, another reason for the federal filing.

Multiple calls to ASU for comment were not returned. As such, details of Lester's complaint with the school could not be confirmed.

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