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Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 832
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Title: Records of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment, 1978-1980
Quantity: .83 linear feet (2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Meeting minutes; notes; correspondence; speeches; flyers; petitions; sexual harassment handbooks and brochures; reports and papers; clippings; etc., of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment, an organization of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley
Donor: Ruth MilkmanAccession number: 2015-M63Processed by: Mark VassarThe following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library printed materials division:
- W.O.A.S.H Weekly, No. 1-4 (1979)
Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment was an organization of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, who organized as a group in 1979 around complaints of sexual harassment against assistant professor of sociology Elbaki Hermassi by thirteen female students. Ruth Milkman was one of the leaders. The group corresponded with university administration, distributed flyers, held press conferences, and collected signatures on petitions in an effort to call attention to the case and to hold Hermassi accountable for his actions. In addition to their actions on campus, the organization also filed a Title IX complaint with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on behalf of several of the affected students. They also researched sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures at other universities and state government agencies in order to ultimately force the University of California, Berkeley, to institute its own policies and procedures (none were in place at the time of the Hermassi case). The group also submitted an amicus curiae brief in 1979 in the appeal of the Alexander v. Yale case.
The records of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment contain meeting minutes; notes; correspondence; speeches; flyers; petitions; sexual harassment handbooks and brochures; reports and papers; clippings; etc. The bulk of the material is related to Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment's efforts to call attention and demand action on the complaints of sexual harassment by female students against assistant professor Elbaki Hermassi, their Title IX complaint against the university, and their efforts to have the university develop sexual assault grievance policies and procedures. Original folder titles were retained. Information appearing in brackets was provided by the processor. Folders are arranged alphabetically. Additional material (accession number 2016-M22) was added to the collection in February 2016 and is located in #2.13. Additional material (accession number 2018-M78) was added to the collection in July 2018 and is located in #PD.1.