A lawsuit claims teaching assistants at Amherst College in Massachusetts were prodded to sleep with students to increase enrollment for the Spanish department.
A former lecturer has filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She has also claimed discrimination after speaking up on behalf of the assistants.
Dimaris Barrios-Beltran claims in the lawsuit that her boss Victoria Maillo "encouraged" lecturers like her and teaching assistants "to go out to parties or socials and sleep with students to persuade more people to take Spanish." She said at least one of the TAs complained to her that Maillo was treating her like a "prostitute."
Barrios-Beltran claims when she asked Maillo, who is named in the suit along with the college, whether she was expected to sleep with "a different guy every night like another TA was doing," her boss responded, "that is what I brought you here for."
An Amherst spokesman stated that these allegations weren't raised until after Barrios-Beltran had been fired. He adds that the decision to let her contract expire was based solely on falling enrollment.
As of Thursday morning, Amherst had not filed a legal response to the claims.
This has the makings of a huge scandal in the academic community, that's for sure. Whether it's true Barrios-Beltran was fired due to declining enrollment remains to be proven. I'll continue to follow the story and bring you any updates as they come.