Tufts magazine escapes harassment charge

MASSACHUSETTS ‘ Sexual harassment charges were filed at Tufts University against a politically conservative campus magazine in October.

The Oct. 11 issue of The Primary Source contained a feature satirizing an activist organization on Tufts’ campus called the Student Labor Activist Movement. The article referenced members with comments about ‘well-endowed female SLAM members’ and ‘oh-so-tight tank tops.’ Also published was a cartoon of a large-breasted female with tight clothing and the letters ‘SLAM’ written across her chest.

A member of the activist group, Iris Halpern, filed sexual harassment charges with the dean of students against The Primary Source, claiming the cartoon and the comments were obviously directed at her.

The Committee on Student Life heard arguments from Halpern and The Primary Source, represented by editor Sam Dangremond, in November. The magazine argued the contents of the magazine should be protected by the First Amendment, Dangremond said.

The committee, comprised of two students and six faculty members, unanimously determined the magazine did not violate the sexual harassment policy.

The sexual harassment charge was not the only problem facing The Primary Source this semester. More than 600 copies of the Nov. 22 issue were defaced, when stickers reading ‘imagine a campus free of sexism’ were placed on the cover. The issue was produced following the sexual harassment verdict.

‘While there are as of yet no definite suspects, the message clearly is in reference to the sexual harassment case,’ Dangremond said.

In addition, the Oct. 25 issue, was the victim of theft. Approximately 1,000 copies of the 2,700 printed were stolen.

A police report was filed in the vandalism and theft cases. Both are under investigation.