Tensions on campus continued to rise Thursday after protesters began publicizing a hidden trove of writings once housed on Professor T. Florian Jaeger’s school website.
The writings, some of which were sensual, were “a collection of creative outputs, selected, created, and viewed by you, me, and maybe — at this very moment — by us,” according to a description on the webpage where the files could once be found.
News of the collection spread Thursday on Facebook after a PDF copy of one of the writings, along with a record of the code that was used to display them, was posted in a group dedicated to protesting Jaeger and UR after the University cleared him of sexual harassment claims.
The PDFs were accessible by viewing the source code of a webpage on his Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department site. They seem meant to be found, since a blurb on the page references “a few hidden links to people or sites you should know.”
“But beware traveller,” warned Jaeger, “I bear no responsibility for the obscenities that may lie hidden in this digital vault.”
You can still view the page and its code, but the links to the files no longer work.
In the PDF posted on the protest page, the authenticity of which the Campus Times has confirmed, the narrator of the story muses about a woman they have had sex with. It includes descriptions of the woman “bending into impossible curves as she tightens around me” and is signed, “05/16/05 by ChK.”
In an email to the Campus Times, Jaeger said the page originated from his pre-grad school and grad-school days and was a place for him and friends to exchanged poetry and other writings.
“The whole directory got presumably copied over from my grad school website when I moved here in 2007,” he said. “I recently deleted it when somebody pointed out that it might be taken out of its original context.”
According to students who saw the documents before they were removed, the texts were less lurid than many on Facebook seemed to think. Many of the writings, they said, were signed by “ChK,” and came off as benign. There were a few poems in German, two photos of what appeared to be album artwork, and two links: one to a Stanford webpage, the other to a Japanese language blog.
Student protesters said on Facebook that they planned to send the materials to Jaeger’s department chair.
All this comes after revelations last week that a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint had been filed against UR by several current and former faculty members and a former grad student.
The complaint, first reported on by Mother Jones, details how UR left Jaeger untouched after he was accused by Celeste Kidd, another professor and former graduate student under Jaeger, of years of sexual harassment. According to the document, Kidd was one of 17 professors and students to complain about Jaeger’s behavior.
The complaint primarily argues that UR retaliated against the employees who had come forward about Jaeger’s alleged harassment. The federal commission will not rule on anything related directly to students or allegations of harassment.
Editor’s Note (12/22/19): A sentence saying that, according to the EEOC complaint, Kidd’s account of harassment was supported by seven professors and 11 students was changed to reflect that Kidd was one of those seven professors as well as one of the 11 students referred to in the EEOC complaint. The sentence was also altered to reflect that according to the EEOC complaint not all of the individuals necessarily supported Kidd’s account of her own experience, but rather complained about Jaeger’s behavior as they experienced it.