Two Female Students accused a BU Music Professor of Sexual Harassment

Boston ­– A sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed in Suffolk County on behalf of two music students, Erin Shyr and Maria Currie, who claimed their music professor, Eric Ruske, at Boston University has continuously subjected them to sexual harassment.

The students disclosed that in spite of all the sexual harassment reports filed with the University, the school failed to take action against the professor for his workplace misconduct and protect the students. According to the students, BU allegedly made endless excuses for the music professor’s misbehavior, instead of abiding by Title IX. Numerous sexual harassment complaints confirmed that Ruske was infamous for “making offensive, vulgar and sexually charged statements to students.”

Sexual Harassment at Boston University

Currie, a trumpet student, united with Ruske through the quintet he instructed at the university. As a dedicated student in Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, Currie strived to give her all to her musical path. Based on the sexual harassment complaint, Currie alleged that Ruske gazed at the sight of her from head to toe, and referenced the high heels she wore during the rehearsal in an unwelcoming manner. It was later discovered that Currie didn’t pass her performance requirement, and planned to meet with Ruske to discuss her inadequate performance.

Ruske was accused of using “vulgar and obscene” language with Currie in conversation throughout the meeting in 2013. It was noted that Ruske’s description of Currie’s performance was delivered through a comparison to sex. Ruske supposedly said, “though very beautiful, she was only lying there and not doing anything.” After the meeting concluded, Currie claims Rusk followed up with and an inappropriate message saying, “fabulous chatting and a great blouse.“

In the eyes of a student, a professor should refrain from using unpleasant words and comparisons in both public and private gatherings. In the event, that a faculty or staff member violates the academic code of conduct, students like Currie and Shyr believe strict disciplinary actions should occur immediately following the sexual harassment investigation. Boston University, allegedly abstained from favoring the best interest of the students when they ignored the window of opportunity that Ruske misused and abused with sexual harassment.

The sexual harassment complaint includes various sexual harassment incidents relating to each other. In addition to the discomfort, there was an alleged text from Ruske, attempting to express remorse for his misconduct.

Erin Shyr had a similar experience to Maria Currie with sexual harassment. In 2014, Shyr united with Ruske as an oboist in a woodwind chamber group he coached. Shyr alleged that she endured sexual harassment via email. The sexual harassment consisted of requests for pictures, greetings including “kisses on the cheek,” and a suggestion that Shry should express her gratitude for Ruske’s “inappropriate comments.”

After the student informed a faculty member about the sexual harassment, Ruske made another attempt to apologize through email. The sexual harassment complaint alleged that the apology was not served in honor of remorse, but as a preventative measure to eliminate the possibility of a sexual harassment report from being filed against him.

The two students had several meetings with the university’s staff with evidence to support their allegations. According to the sexual harassment complaint, BU did not reprimand Ruske or take any action against him. In addition to receiving a “slap on the wrist,” Ruske remained in charge of the students’ grades.

In May 2014, the students received a notice displaying the results of the Equal Opportunity Investigation. In the notice, Boston University’s assistant director of Equal Opportunity stated, “Mr. Ruske’s conduct was inconsistent with BU’s policies.” The administration allegedly determined that Ruske might have been unaware of his unacceptable behavior due to his personality. The university still has to review the sexual harassment complaint and comment, according to a BU representative.

Are you in Need of Legal Guidance?

The two students were disappointed with the decision the university made regarding Ruske’s actions. They expressed feeling several emotions including “fear, shame, betrayal, and mistrust.” As a result of not receiving the help, the students needed, seeking a sexual harassment attorney could help them tackle their sexual harassment issue from a different angle.

If you have ever been a victim of sexual harassment at a university, contact the sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC for legal guidance. Call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation to discuss your possible claim. Our attorneys are available to review your claims and prepare a solid case to recover the damages and justice you deserved.