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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 832

Records of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment, 1978-1980

Overview

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

Dates

  • 1978-1980

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. Original sexual harassment complaint letters have been redacted and the originals removed from the collection. Originals are closed until January 1, 2050.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Extent

.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)
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.

HISTORY

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.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2015-M63, 2016-M22. Accession number 2016-M22 was added to the collection in February 2016. Accession number 8018-M78 was added to the collection in July 2018.

The records of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment were given to the Schlesinger Library by Ruth Milkman in April 2015 and February 2016, and by Rivka Polatnick in June 2018.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donor: Ruth Milkman

Accession number: 2015-M63

Processed by: Mark Vassar

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library printed materials division:
  1. W.O.A.S.H Weekly, No. 1-4 (1979)

Processing Information

Processed: July 2015

By: Mark Vassar
Link to catalog
Title
Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment. Records of Women Organized Against Sexual Harassment, 1978-1980: A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch01508

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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