Student protesters demanding the ouster of a University of Texas professor accused of sexual misconduct entered a class he was teaching Thursday to ramp up pressure on the school, reports CBS Austin affiliate KEYE-TV. Video tweeted by #FireTheAbusers shows them walking in.
One tells Dr. Sahotra Sarkar, “We stand alongside other enraged women who are disgusted by your actions toward students.”
A protester who spoke with KEYE anonymously by phone said “a few” students from the class walked out when the protesters left, in solidarity with them. She said Sarkar has solicited nude photos of students and invited them to go to nude beaches with him.
In an October 26th letter, the executive board of the Senate of College Councils said it supports the call for a more “transparent investigation and for action to be taken to remove professors in violation” of sexual misconduct policies.
“We don’t want them as our professors any longer and that’s what led to today … (it was) just some frustration,” the protester told KEYE.
“How can we expect that the university will protect us from these people if these people are professors we have to work closely with?” she remarked.
Sarkar couldn’t immediately be reached for comment by the station. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, KEYE said.
The school issued a statement saying its police got a 911 call about a disruption in a classroom but when officers arrived, there was “no disruption taking place” and there’s “no current criminal investigation.”
Sarkar is seen on the video dialing on his cellphone when the protesters came in.
“The university respects students’ freedom of speech and right to demonstrate,” the school’s statement continued, “but speech cannot impede the mission of the university. As outlined in the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities, ‘No speech, expression, or assembly may be conducted in a way that disrupts or interferes with any teaching, research, administration, function of the University, or other authorized activities on the campus.’ Students involved in such disruptions could be subject to disciplinary action.”
KEYE says the students are planning more demonstrations and a town hall.