JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The Jackson College Board of Trustees will decide on Thursday whether to bring in an outside investigator after several meetings where students and staff laid out allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination to board members.
The decision was reached during Monday’s board meeting where more allegations of harassment were shared.
“In all my working years and in all the jobs I’ve had I’ve never experienced the type of harassment that I have here at Jackson College,” said former employee, Sarah Stapley.
Stapley was more than a dozen members of the Jackson college community shared allegations of harassment, discrimination, or how frustrated they were with how complaints are being handled by college administrators.
After several meetings led by student complaints, staff joined calls for an external review of allegations and how they are handled. Those voices include those from the college’s two employee unions.
“Allocations brought forth by both students and employees cast a dark shadow over our college and community and we believe it’s imperative to address them with the utmost seriousness and urgency,” said faculty member Becky Roberts.
Last month, the board of trustees directed college president Daniel Phelan to review multiple allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination in a 5-2 vote.
Board Chairperson John Crist says trustees were handed 2 reports earlier Monday. One report was on complaints from previous meetings and another highlighted organizational changes.
Crist says he understands the waves of frustrations aimed at the board but says any changes will need time.
“It’s not one of those things where you can snap your fingers and it’s over. No, no, no,” said Crist.
“We have to work through this. It’s more important to work through this than to jump immediately into a study,”