The Daily Gamecock

'We have to now keep the pressure on': Students want professor facing sexual harassment lawsuits to be fired

<p>Protestors walk down the Horseshoe holding a sign that reads, 'FIRE VOROS.' USC students, faculty and staff protest the university's handling of the sexual assault allegations against professor David Voros and other alleged abusers.&nbsp;</p>

Protestors walk down the Horseshoe holding a sign that reads, 'FIRE VOROS.' USC students, faculty and staff protest the university's handling of the sexual assault allegations against professor David Voros and other alleged abusers. 

Students called for a professor accused of sexual harassment to be fired from USC during a protest on Thursday. 

David Voros, an art professor in the School of Visual Arts and Design, is facing two active lawsuits that accuse him of sexual harassment. 

Voros was slated to teach three online classes during the spring 2022 semester. As of this week, he will not teach any classes, according to an email by the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Joel Samuels. 

The protest, organized by The Coalition to Fire David Voros, hosted multiple student speakers who shared their experience with harassment at the university. 

The Daily Gamecock is awaiting comment on the protest from the university. 

Former USC student Lauren Chapman said at the protest that she had to give a statement for Allison Dunavant’s lawsuit against Voros in 2015. She said Voros drove by her house and has said he was going to put Chapman in jail. 

“I decided not to pursue my grad school, which I was planning to do here. But after all of this, I don't feel like it's worth it,” Chapman said.

Chapman said she’s known about this since 2015 and said it was crazy it was still going on. 

"Finally, there is a voice for us," Chapman said. "Especially when I’m constantly terrified to speak out because there are threats of lawsuits and jail from David Voros." 

Morgianna McDevitt, speaker of the student senate and fourth-year economics and environmental studies student, said she came to the protest to listen to how the students were feeling. She also said the issues being discussed felt very personal to her as a student and woman. 

“While all this is very frustrating, I know that good pressure can be put on how the university handles these incidents moving forward. And that's where I'm trying to put our Student Government efforts towards,” McDevitt said.

The Daily Gamecock also reached out to Interim Provost Stephen Cutler and the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Joel Samuels earlier this week for comment on Voros being removed from the classroom. 

Victor Ponds, coalition member and fourth-year environmental science student, has been with the group since it began in December. They said they're focused on getting freshmen involved. 

“Well, one thing is a lot of people who are involved with the coalition were seniors. That’s a big thing of USC — they just want to outlast us until we graduate,” Ponds said.  

Ponds said the group is glad Voros is not teaching next semester, but that it never should have been an option. 

“We have to now keep the pressure on. Part of that is letting everyone know, having it blow up in the news,” Ponds said. 

A similar protest took place last semester

On Wednesday, Interim University President Harris Pastides outlined changes to how the university will handle reports of sexual harassment. These changes included a new form to report harassment and a reorganization of the office which will handle reports of sexual harassment. 

Alexandria Hall, who spoke at the protest, sees these changes as a step in the right direction. 

“There’s a long way to go," second-year psychology student Hall said. "One of my fellow peers said (USC) wants us to be quiet. Maybe he doesn’t teach next semester, but he will come back because he’s still on payroll. We want him gone forever, we want him blacklisted." 


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