Professors demanding that their students have inappropriate relationships with them in exchange for good grades has become an alarming recent trend across the CUNY system. Earlier this year, professors at CUNY John Jay College were ousted and arrested after allegedly involving their female students in a drug-and-prostitution ring. Now, it seems a similar problem is brewing at CUNY LaGuardia Community College.
A female student in her 40s, who asked to be referred to as Jane Doe for fear of her safety being compromised, came forward with charges pressed against her Human Anatomy professor, Hany Fam, at a federal court in Brooklyn.
In her lawsuit, she accused Hany Fam of bribing her with good grades in exchange for sex. Her encounter with Fam, which occurred in October of 2017, began when she had asked to meet with Fam to talk over her grades. Her 60-year-old professor agreed, but only on one condition: that their meeting take place at her apartment. Though his proposition did not sit well with her, she reluctantly agreed to it for fear that her objection to his request might hurt her grade in Fam’s class.
Things were tense upon his arrival at the student’s apartment. He greeted of her with a kiss on her cheek and a bottle of wine, which he tried to convince her to drink, to no avail.
The lawsuit claims that Fam had confided in Doe, telling her about the problems he was currently dealing with in his marriage and his feelings of loneliness that resulted. As the NY Post noted, he didn’t stop there, but instead “…unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a scar” citing that he had “a heart condition that left him with just a few years to live.”
Professor Fam followed his student into her kitchen and leaned into her for a hug, as his way of trying to loosen her up a bit.
Pouring them both a glass of wine, which Doe rejected, Fam repeatedly asked his student to be his “friend,” according to the court papers. Doe sought clarity asking if what Fam meant by “friend” was another word for sex. When confirmed this and proposed that they meet once a week, she froze.
Making light of the situation, he casually brought up how other professors were engaging in similar pursuits. The student, standing her ground, repeatedly said no and asked that he remove himself from her apartment.
Moments before he left her home, he whipped out the answers to a quiz she was going to have in class, telling her to think about his offer.
This was the last she saw of him, since he had been removed from that classroom on November 7th, the very same day she had reported this incident to LaGuardia’s Title IX office. According to the NY Post, the Title IX office handle cases concerning sexual harassment that occur in relation to the college.
Fam was officially fired on Jan. 11, 2018. Students at CUNY Queens College couldn’t wrap their brains around the news. As Junior Louise Smith said, “That [sounds] creep[y] to me to know that teachers are really out here doing something like this. They should be setting good examples.”
“Dude, this is why they have therapy, if you know you’re having trouble in your marriage, go seek some help. Don’t ruin another person’s life, because of how unhappy you are,” says sophomore Anthony Santaro.
Students at LaGuardia Community College are advised to contact the Office of Compliance and Diversity at (718) 482-5088 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.