USC Games, USC Esports Union, & Sexual Harassment
While I was a sophomore at USC (2018), the student director of USC Esports Union (USC's Varsity Esport teams) sexually harassed me and another student leader in the program. We reported it to the faculty advisor IN PERSON AND IN WRITING for them to do absolutely nothing. I left the program shortly after and took a health leave the following semester.
This was also the faculty member who asked me to be the president of their new esports club because I would be "good marketing" for the program. During my health leave (2019) I also tried to report the case to USC's Title IX. I was unsuccessful in reporting because the office told me that what happened was "institutionalized sexism" and since I was on a health leave during my report I was ineligible to file an official report.
I reached out to other women in gaming and esports for advice because I genuinely felt lost for what I was supposed to do. I was put in touch with AnyKey who suggested and supported me in talking to the department chair in charge of the USC Esports Union program. I really appreciate these people because this was 100% the right move, but it was really unfortunate that the faculty once again proved to be unsupportive.
That was last time I tried to pursue any sense of justice. I had a meeting with the department chair who defended the faculty advisor citing that "since they are an adjunct faculty they probably didn't know they were supposed to report it to Title IX" and other excuses.
As a former student worker at the University, I can attest that what was said to me is bullshit because as a STUDENT WORKER I HAD MANDATORY HARASSMENT TRAINING. My MOTHER WHO WORKS WITH THE UNIVERSITY ATTESTED THAT ANYONE WHO WORKS WITH THE UNIVERSITY HAS ANNUAL TRAINING FOR EMERGENCY AND HARASSMENT.
The department chair DID submit a Title IX report on our behalf, but, reporting to Title IX is far from the problem. The problem is that as an entire department hasn't made any effort in creating safe and inclusive spaces despite the constant advertisement and marketing of being such a ~diverse school~. I was pushed out of a program and opportunity because of the incredibly uncomfortable environment. The "solution" to the problem was offered to me by the department chair to have me meet with the faculty advisor to "connect myself back with the program". They wanted me to meet with the faculty advisor who was very who was obviously defending the harasser and sweeping a sexual harassment under the rug to "protect the image of the program".
I know a lot of other students can attest to the wildly sexist remarks, and mistreatment by the faculty. This is not to say that the faculty and staff at USC games are all bad (in fact I've had a lot of good professors in the department), but if anyone else at USC has had this experience please feel free to reach out to me if you need any support because I know how awful, frustrating, ande demeaning the program can be.