Letter from the editor
In today’s issue, we reported on our front page about a UB senior adviser in the Educational Opportunity Program who used his office to have sex with a student and text the student sexually suggestive photos and videos. We printed his name despite strong pressure from university officials who feel we should not have done so. We have thought deeply about the implications of including and not including his name, and believe printing his name is in the public interest.
We withheld the student’s name at her request. Although the relationship was consensual and not a violation of UB policy, we feel students and staff are held to different standards. Moreover, we think he was in a position of power even though he wasn’t her adviser at UB because of their relationship history – he was her counselor at Buffalo State – and the nature of his job here.
Patrick Crosby should have been aware he was a state employee working on the public payroll. He took advantage of his position by using his workspace for sex and sending a student sexually suggestive photos and videos from his office. We are not passing judgment on the relationship. We believe Crosby should have been responsible in his position and taken into account the implications of his actions.
We also think UB should have done more to reprimand Crosby. We cannot understand why UB did not inform St. Bonaventure about Crosby’s past with this student. UB determined Crosby could not have contact with our students, but stood back when he went to supervise those at St. Bonaventure.
We reported on our university’s policies along with other universities’ policies. UB’s policy allows faculty or staff to have relationships with students as long as there is not a “conflict of interest.” The policy requires employees to identify and report situations where a relationship might affect conditions of employment or academic progress.
Crosby’s behavior during working hours and in his office were reprehensible and should not be allowed.
Students should feel comfortable reporting abuses of power and coming forward with stories to administrators. UB should not protect faculty and staff who act inappropriately by giving them “special assignments” and allowing them to exit quietly.
Hannah Stein can be reached at email@example.com.