“Zealous to exclude the sexual from the pedagogical, many believe teacher-student relations should be neither social nor personal. Although I can see that a ‘strictly business’ approach is probably the best way to guard against the sexual, I envision an enormous pedagogical loss from prohibiting interaction with the student as a person . . . While I recognized the recently understood dangers of such liaisons, I was nonetheless concerned that an entire stretch of experience was being denied, consigned to silence.”
Distinguished Professor Jane Gallop wrote those words in a 1994 essay titled “Sex and Sexism: Feminism and Harassment Policy,” in which she argued that being unable to sleep with one’s teacher represented, as she put it, a “loss.”
Gallop was accused of sexually harassing a graduate advisee after publicly kissing her in a crowded bar. She later used the incident to gather a conference in which she proposed the topic of whether consensual sex could rightly be considered sexual harassment, a topic which backlash forced her to change.
She currently remains on campus, advising and overseeing graduate students. Yet Gallop was not the only professor to receive considerable scrutiny for her extracurricular student interactions back in what was a tense era at UW-Milwaukee. (Click here for the results of a detailed investigation into sexual harassment on UWM’s campus today.)
Current Emeritus Professor Stephen Samerjan, who served as the Chair of UWM’s Art Department from 1989-1990, was suspended and forced to step down following accusations of sexual harassment by a student in his class named Christine Ruh.
Describing himself as a man of his time, Samerjan said, “We all have an interest in making the policies clearer. The policy has changed and it’s all for the good that I can see.”
Both Gallop and Samerjan are in an especially unique position to assess an impending UW-Milwaukee policy change which would ban professor-student relationships from developing: their salacious cases of sexual harassment accusations provoked serious outcries from their accusers and made national headlines.
However as their lives have continued, one accuser in particular was materially, psychologically and academically damaged.
“It all sucks,” said Ruh, the student who accused Samerjan of sexually harassment and sued him in district court. “I lost everything I ever owned.”
In the aftermath of her denied suit, Ruh lost funding and faith in the university, eventually dropping out of school.
“All these people are online talking about how they can’t understand why people don’t come forward,” she said bitterly. “This is why. This is dangerous.”
The proposed University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee policy change which threatens to ban the development of professor-student relationships (and supervisor-subordinate relationships) is very different from the previous policy which declared that such relationships could not be regulated and only required they be (1) disclosed to the dean and (2) without conflicts of interest from elements like grading.
The Academic Staff Senate passed the provision unanimously, yet the Academic Faculty Senate and its overseeing body, the University Committee, has made a number of revisions regarding terms of confidentiality, resulting in the proposal being held in limbo.
The proposed policy has highlighted the university’s troublesome history of sexual harassment complaints and perhaps even exemplified the need for a change.
If Socratesian pedanticism were somehow – pardon the pun – inserted into a second-wave (self-proclaimed) feminist sex revolutionary, the result would be Jane Gallop.
Socratesian because her style of teaching embraces a pedagogical bravado bordering on narcissism – it’s no coincidence that this photo of her was taken as she was braced in a classic Socratic pose, such as the one portrayed in Raphael’s School of Athens: eyes wide, mouth open, one finger poised critically towards the sky.
Self-proclaimed because although feminism is generally defined by an underlying advocacy for equal gender treatment, Gallop solely ascribed the status of sexual harassment victims to women in her 1994 essay, while primarily attributing the role of harasser to men.
And the smile? Jane just loves to teach.
When Jane Gallop joined UWM as a professor, the university’s policy on student-professor relationships was that such relationships required (1) disclosure to the dean and (2) a removal of conflict of interest from parameters such as grading.
In many of her works, Gallop said she welcomed that policy. However, she doesn’t agree with banning relationships based on category.
Such bans, she said, are problematic because professor-student relationships develop at different points and often exist before the professor-student relationship becomes relevant.
For example, Gallop said that she graded assignments for a couple who had been together before one member decided to attend school and became the student of their partner, a professor. She even pointed out how faculty in the English department are married.
“I believe that the possibility of professor-student relationships is good,” Gallop said. “It’s probably ill-advised that a 19 year-old should date anyone 2-15 years older than them, but sometimes, it works.”
But most times, according to Billie Wright Dziech, it doesn’t.
Billie Dziech is a University of Cincinnati professor of English and Comparative Literature who has occasionally lent her expertise on professor-student relationships to cases around the country.
In 1984, she wrote a book called “The Lecherous Professor,” in which she discussed sexual harassment on college campuses and ways to prevent it from occurring. In her interview, she pointed to a culmination of modern science, personal experience, and statistics as the reason for her support of the proposed measure, citing four specific reasons.
The power differential, students’ psychological immaturity and vulnerability, the weight of professorial ranks, and the effect on students who are not romantically involved are all negative effects of allowing professor-student relationships to occur.
“Number one, I think it’s a bad idea because there’s a power issue involved,” Dziech explained.
Dziech said she wrote the book in response to the influx of students who would come to her office, seeking guidance.
Dziech said the power differential is compounded when graduate students become involved with professors for several reasons. Along with outside observers’ implicit assumption that two adults closer in age have equal status, that scenario also doesn’t recognize how sexual advisee-mentor relationships can be affected even when grading is removed.
“I think we have to remember that it’s not only professors who have power over students, but it’s also [their] friends and students can’t know that,” Dziech explained. “If I got a dollar for every time I have read a deposition with faculty members who were friends of professors who had been involved with students, I would be a millionaire every time I heard them say ‘I don’t recall’ or ‘I don’t remember.’ That’s just a fact.”
In addition to the challenges faced by other faculty members’ conspiratorial behavior, access to recommendations, labs and equipment, grant funding, and general mentorship can be impacted when professor-graduate student relationships turn from platonic to romantic and especially when they go in the reverse direction.
“I still think the power issue is there and I think that it’s probably even more serious because what happens if the relationship goes sour? What happens because that kid, young woman or young man, still needs the recommendation?” She asked.
Sometimes, those students doesn’t get them; Gallop’s other complainant accused Gallop of withholding two of three recommendations as part of her sexual harassment claim. The complainant, a graduate student, said that although she wasn’t sexually involved with Gallop, she felt a certain sexual tension and then a sudden drop in interest when their relationship remained professional.
The student certainly could have been Gallop’s type: at one point, according to an article by Lingua Franca, Gallop stood up during a graduate conference on gay and lesbian studies in 1991 and joked that graduate students “might” be considered her sexual preference.
Christine Ruh later spoke with Gallop’s now deceased accuser Dana Beckelman on the phone.
Gallop has certainly excelled at being verbally outrageous and provocative; in her remarks at the graduate conference, she specifically compared the authority differential between teachers and graduate students to the same-sex status among gays and lesbians, arguing that banning sexual relationships only drives them underground as it did for gays and lesbians.
In Gallop’s “Sex and Sexism” essay, she betrayed a starkly sex-obsessed view of “the personal,” a feminist method of taking an entire person into account when teaching instead of merely observing students as an empty vessel. Instead, she argued that removing the potential for sex between students and professors in pedagogical relationships removes “the personal” in its entirety.
Furthermore, she wrote, “[I] believe that denying women the right to consent further infantilizes us, denies us our full humanity.”
To be clear, the proposed policy only references professors and students as categories, not genders. Still, Gallop’s position hasn’t changed.
“The way to deal with it is not to outlaw it,” she said, frown lines of disapproval deepening across her face. “I’m concerned when [administrators] treat students like protected classes, like children.”
However, Dziech pointed out that putting restrictions on adults isn’t new and is typically done in their best interests.
“We’ve learned in the last couple of decades that the human brain is not fully mature until probably in the mid-20s. Under that age, people still are very, very quick to make decisions and not think things through as carefully. Students who do get involved in these relationships make decisions very quickly without thinking them through, especially if they’re very young [because] it may sound very flattering at the time [and] I think they’re told, ‘you’re an adult.’ Well, the science is telling us, you’re not an adult.”
Second-year Ph.D candidate Dana Beckelman was anything but a child when she made her claim of sexual harassment against Gallop for failing to grade her fairly after months of flirting and mixed messages, according to Lingua Franca.
Gallop, in her 40s at the time, kissed the 30-year-old student in a crowded bar with other students present.
Beckelman argued to Lingua Franca that in hindsight, she found Gallop’s interest in her disingenuous, experimental, and exploitative; especially since their interaction, laced with sexual innuendo, often ran hot and cold without clear expectations.
Beckelman won her claim, and a letter was placed in Gallop’s file following the investigation.
Since that letter was put in her file, Gallop was declared a distinguished professor and now advises the graduate students she used to kiss in public — as she later admitted, nothing “terrible” happened to her.
In her book, “Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment,” Gallop said of Beckelman, “Her complaint alleged that she was upset by the kiss but had been too intimidated to tell me. If she [was] upset, she showed no sign of it at the time.”
Gallop’s 1994 essay expounded upon the idea that, as a feminist professor refusing to accept that consensual relationships could and should be considered sexual harassment, she was targeted for being out of line.
“I’m interested in a world in which sexual harassment is taken seriously [and] sexual harassment is not about women being oversensitive,” she said, echoing the sentiment more than a decade later.
Gallop’s hands and eyebrows flew in the air, becoming the picture of incredulity as she relayed what she believed to be her accusers’ motivations.
“One of them wanted me to tell her her work was good when it wasn’t,” she said of Beckelman, “and the other wanted me to write a letter of recommendation to someone who wasn’t a good student,” Gallop finished, describing the other student who filed a sexual harassment complaint against her.
However, Gallop did write the second complainant a letter and when asked in a Chicago Tribune article why she refused to write another two for the same student, she cited a different reason. In the article, Gallop defended her choice by stating that the school for which she wrote the one letter was the only one with a strong gay and lesbian studies program, which was the student’s focus.
The student said she interpreted the refusal to write the other two as retaliation for rebuffing Gallop’s advances. Her complaint was ultimately dismissed.
“I don’t think I was treated fairly,” Gallop said, shaking her head emphatically as she recounted the student outcry which rose against her at the time. “I think that they were actually trying to harm me,” she said.
“I [felt] that there was a whole atmosphere that if the students felt bad, the professor must have done something wrong. I’m uncomfortable when all there is, is a feeling — I’m uncomfortable with a policy where you give all the validity to the subjective feelings of someone.”
Gallop also added that faculty and graduate students socialize often, which means that ambiguities and mixed messages are unavoidable.
“I don’t think a world exists where you can prevent all misunderstandings,” she said.
Nor, she said, does she believe a world exist in which such bans are enforceable.
Gallop acknowledged that removing conflicts of interest is a good idea and also stated that the policy was fair for treating supervisor-subordinate positions the same way as professor-student relationships.
But professors shouldn’t be punished because of a student’s misperception, Gallop said, describing how although students may believe professors have more power than they actually do, professors shouldn’t be punished when students think they can’t say no to something they can.
“[Feminism] is supposed to teach women that they have a right to say no and not feel bad about it,” Gallop said. “I’m uncomfortable with harassment being based on the idea that someone feels they can’t say no to someone when they can.”
However, Dziech said that saying no doesn’t protect students experiencing from sexual harassment and/or retaliation once they choose to exercise that right.
“I’ve talked to girls who have left professions or who left the discipline that they were training for because they just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. Or they changed universities or colleges because they didn’t feel like they had the courage to come forward and talk about it.”
“I think we also need to think about the other kids who sit in the classroom,” Dziech said, adding whether it’s ever really possible for a professor to be unbiased towards a student with whom s/he is in a romantic relationship.
Yet overall, Gallop concluded that, “It doesn’t make sense to me to ban them.”
“You can’t make policies to protect people from ever making mistakes,” she said, “which is different from being protected from predators.”
For Dziech, there is no doubt that such relationships are mistakes. However, she refused to comment on Gallop individually, stating, “As a member of the academic profession, I have no comment about Jane Gallop’s behavior; I think it speaks for itself.”
“When I went to school, there were uncertainties; [it was] during the ’60s. I was a product of a generation for which I didn’t grow up with the clarity,” said former UWM Art Chair and current Associate Emeritus Professor Stephen Samerjan.
Samerjan, then a chair at UWM’s Fine Arts program, was suspended following sexual harassment allegations from Christine Ruh.
Samerjan acknowledged having had a consensual sexual relationship with Ruh, but with the new proposed policy said, “You moot the issue of consensuality and go more directly to the point of power differential.”
Samerjan explicitly explained that his biggest issue with existing policies that are currently on record is their level of ambiguity regarding definitions of harassment, conflicts of interest and even the variations of those definitions among different departments.
“If you were to survey [different] departments,” Samerjan explained, “each of them has a different set of expectations both by the [accused] and by the party aggrieved.”
Samerjan went on to say the policy change seems like a wise idea, describing the new language as “entirely welcome.”
“I think it’s a good thing that the current policy has been clarified,” he said. “I don’t think it lends itself to much wiggle room [and] it puts everyone on the record. It’s like knowing the rules to a game,” he added.
In his own case, Samerjan said, “I took responsibility for my part of the consensual description of the relationship I had. I did not want the other party to be inconvenienced in any way,” he added.
If Ruh is to be believed, inconvenience was an understatement of her experience after complaining about Samerjan.
In 1993, Ruh, acting pro se, filed a complaint in federal court against Stephen Samerjan, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and then-governor Jim Doyle among other defendants, alleging that Samerjan conducted a campaign of sexual harassment and humiliation against her, which the university and city supported by dismissively handling her claim and failing to properly investigate.
Her claim was dismissed on the basis that it wasn’t gender discrimination, and Ruh claimed that she paid a hefty price for her daring. “Because of what he did to me, because I came forward . . . I lost a $40,000 doctoral scholarship and my access to my education and eventually my stuff and my house.”
Samerjan had a different experience. Although he was forced to step down as chair and suspended as a punishment, he maintained a place at the university and has since become an emeritus professor.
“I owned my conduct. I never lied. I returned without incident,” he said.
Samerjan credited his decision to be honest about the accusations as the reason his discipline was not harsher.
“The lie is even more powerful and a [greater] indictment of character,” he said. But the new policy, he noted, “goes beyond matters of personality.”
But Ruh disagreed, painting a picture of Samerjam’s behavior and one in which personality — specifically, a predatory personality — was at the forefront.
“What he did is . . . took you out for a date, got you in bed, made you think he would be your boyfriend or whatever, and then he dumped you,” Ruh alleged. “…And so I just dropped out of school.”
Ruh credited her 30-year crusade as the reason for the university’s change in policy. As a student, Ruh said she began documenting Samerjan’s interactions and discovered a disturbing trend within the art department itself.
In 1993, she sued Samerjan, the UW-System Board of Regents, UW-Systems President Katherine Lyall, Former Chancellor Clifford Smith, Chancellor John Schroeder, Affirmative Action Officer Martha Bulluck, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the UW-System.
The courtlistener.com brief described her complaint and the result:
“Christine Ruh appeals from the dismissal of her civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. In her second amended complaint, she contends that Stephen Samerjan, an art professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (“UWM”), retaliated against her after she complained to him about their previous intimate relationship. Allegedly, he failed to attend scheduled appointments, gave her lower grades than she thought she deserved, and criticized her in a demeaning manner. Furthermore, she alleges that Samerjan’s reading of the complaint she filed with the university to the Executive Committee of the UWM Art Department defamed her and constituted yet another act of discrimination and harassment. The remaining defendants [hereinafter “university defendants”] are charged with failing to investigate and process her formal complaints against Samerjan in violation of Title IX, 20 U.S.C. Secs. 1681-1688, and the Equal Protection Clause. Finally, all the defendants are charged with negligently or intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon Ruh due to their failure to address her complaints. Ruh raises four issues on appeal. Reviewing the motion to dismiss de novo, Hinnen v. Kelly, 992 F.2d 140, 142 (7th Cir.1993), we affirm.”
Her claim was denied for several reasons. Firstly, the statute of limitations expired on “Claim #1,” the relationship which occurred between 1983-84 and secondly, her claims against the state institutions were moot since state agencies cannot be sued as persons.
However, of Samerjan, the judge noted in his holding: “it becomes clear that the alleged misconduct of Professor Samerjan (‘inappropriate,’ ‘unprofessional,’ failure to attend appointments, giving her lower grades, demeaning her) are all personal matters and are not gender related. The professor’s conduct, assuming it took place, did not stem from his discriminatory action against ‘women’ but, rather, is the way he ended their love affair.”
Essentially, Ruh could not establish a pattern of gender discrimination. As the brief stated, her suit was ultimately dismissed and this dismissal was upheld on appeal.
Ruh has maintained that she was treated unfairly and retaliated after the fact, for revealing the prevalence of professor-student relationships during her time as a graduate student in the art department.
“Half of the people in (one department on campus) were supposedly having sex with students,” she said. “I’m not making that up.”
When she brought her case against Samerjan, she went to the chair of the art department and the affirmative action office. Eventually, she sought out her Wisconsin representative at the time, Barbara Notestein.
When the Department of Labor got involved from Notestein’s pressure, the investigation revealed systematic discrimination of women, according to Ruh.
Eventually, the labor department came down and threatened to withhold funding until the university appropriately responded to the “pattern and practice of discrimination” against women being implemented in the schools of Art, Business, and English, among others, as this archived article from 1993 noted.
Ruh said that outcome wouldn’t have been her first choice.
“It punished everybody,” she admitted. “The scholarship that I was offered ended up getting cut, yanked, like the fellowship. I mean, that would not have been my solution but you have to understand that at some point, it was just happening around me. It was just about politics and money and who was involved and I didn’t have any control over any of it.”
Ruh said she was also personally persecuted as a result of her relentlessness.
“Everybody apologized to me. Everybody said there’s nothing we can do, there’s nothing we can do.”
Ruh said she fared worse than Gallop’s accuser, Dana Beckelman.
“The English department at UWM is really a big department and Dana got picked up by people on the faculty and taken away and she got her degree and that was all taken care of.”
“That didn’t happen to me,” she said. “I got abandoned.”
But in many ways, Samerjan and Gallop emerged virtually unscathed from the ordeal, with honored positions.
“Now he’s happy in LA…” Ruh said. “Jane Gallop is going to retire with her pension intact; she’s going to be a distinguished professor until she decides to retire, and nothing else is going to happen to her.”
“Until you know the whole backstory to all of this stuff and you have conversations with the other people in this, you don’t understand how they get away with it . . . But getting rid of a distinguished professor in the department who’s got that kind of connections is just impossible.”
Ruh kept up with Beckelman until her death, phoning her and encouraging her to continue pursuing her sexual harassment claim against Gallop. Beckelman died at the age of 48 from heart failure in Saitama, Japan where she had moved, ironically, to teach English at the university level.
Ruh said their present positions, Gallop as distinguished professor and Samerjan as emeritus professor, are not appropriate.
“They’re also passing people around higher education in the country,” she said of universities in general. “Somebody gets brought up on charges and it’s like the Catholic church; they just say here is a promotion and $30,000 now just go over there someplace.”
Her personal experiences and knowledge of others’ ordeals has made Ruh concerned about the future of women at the collegiate level.
“I have concerns about this for higher education in general,” she said. “There has been this tendency of higher education, where the women in higher education are losing all their brain power.”
Gallop definitely represents a women in higher education with a curriculum vitae of brain power:
She has authored nine books, written dozens of articles, and been engaged in a studious role for the past 40 years.
However, she has said that there’s a distinct power differential between the media figures being exposed as sexual harassers on television and professors at universities.
“All the stuff on the news, the people have an enormous amount of power. Professor-student relations have a little bit of that power,” she said, arguing that more apparent power differentials occur in business.
In fact, the Chicago Tribune noted how Gallop said she felt the need to continue her sexually implicit banter with Beckelman – even after they had mutually agreed to stop – to demonstrate that she was, “on [her] side.” In the same article, however, she accused Beckelman of attempting to use her sexuality to undermine whatever professorial power she did possess.
For Dziech, professorial power over students is an ever present dynamic. “A professor always has power over a student whether he or she likes to admit it or not,” she said.
Samerjan described Gallop as, “very bright, an effective person and teacher. [But] I think ultimately what she’s arguing predates the power differential,” he said.
Adding that he would love to be on a panel with “Jane,” he said, “The reflection moment that we see now is highly welcome.”
He also pointed out what he perceived as hypocrisy between how former Senator Al Franken and Senate candidate Roy Moore were treated.
“Al Franken has been brought to the public’s attention, owned his conduct, and paid a huge price. That seems, to me, to be highly in error. An inequity that is troublesome to me.”
In the academic world, Dziech said the existing threats are more powerful when they go unpunished.
“We’re talking about maybe 93 people never would think of doing this. We’re talking about an infinitesimal number. One, two, three, maybe less than five percent. But because they’re serial harassers or serial assaulters or whatever they are, the profession gets a bad name. I had a letter once from some guy who told me he had been sleeping with six students at the same time. Now, come on.”
Dziech also noted that not only is the profession of scholarship indicted as whole, the entire university’s reputation can quickly lose gravitas in the competitive world of academia.
“The expense of college tuition is terrible,” she noted. “If you hear of an institution where this is a prolific behavior, are you going to pay?”
Moreover, Dziech said once students do find themselves victimized by sexual misconduct, the process of judicial or administrative recovery sometimes just isn’t worth it.
“When you’re a kid or a graduate student who’s ready to graduate and somebody says something or does something off-the-wall or grabs you, are you going to be willing to go through all the hassle?” She questioned. “Are you going to have the money to take it to court to deal with it?”
With the proposed policy, the element of enforceability is made both easier and more difficult.
On one hand, it is easier to determine whether sexual harassment has occurred between professors and students in a relationship if that relationship was prohibited in the first place.
On the other hand, there is the threat that such relationships could merely be driven underground to avoid detection.
Under the proposed policy, people in existing relationships who became involved in a professor-student relationship would abide by the previous rule which required (1) disclosure of the relationship to the dean and (2) a removal of conflict of interest from parameters such as grading.
Dziech said that even though though such relationships can be long-term or even lead to marriage, they don’t represent the typical scenario.
“That’s not the point. Those are individual, very rare cases. Every case I’ve ever known, these are not people who just do this once or twice. It’s a moral issue, it’s a professional issue,” she reiterated.
Most students expect to fend off unwanted advances and environments when they arrive in college as undergrads, vulnerable to sexual assault, hazing, alcoholism, drug use, and other potential pitfalls of new college life.
However, this quiet history reveals that even graduate students are not impervious to the fears of subordination imposed by their thesis advisors.
Dziech said there is a serious impetus for this generation to improve sexual misconduct policy for the next. “I have a granddaughter who’s going to be in high school pretty soon and I’m terrified when she goes off, you know; what if that happens to her? It’s about protecting my kids and all those who kids who [are] like them.”
The proposed policy is clearly meant to represent a preventative measure. Dziech, who has kept her eye on other universities throughout the country, has said it really depends on the university.
“Some states try very hard. I think, for example, the University of California system has finally come onboard,” she said, in light of recent changes they made in June of 2017.
Others, Dziech said, have a long road ahead.
“Marco Rubio, McCaskill, [another senator] from New York, looked at what was happening at universities and they found out that many of them are not doing what they should be doing with respect to Title IX.”
Dziech was referencing the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill [D-MO] and introduced in 2015, which would increase penalties for universities who negligently report and/or handle sexual misconduct cases and create a competitive grant process to encourage research in the area of reducing sexual violence on campuses.
As of 2017, according to the official Congressional Website, the bill hasn’t been touched for two years.
Dziech personally experienced a case unassociated with the UW-System which she said almost led to “a breakdown,” after a professor fatally shot a student in his condo. Other cases, such as the one raging through the University of Rochester have revealed an administrative failure in handling sexual harassment cases cases.
Dziech also noted that attitudes permissive of professor misbehavior often trickles down into the way students relate to one another.
In 2012, the CDC released a factsheet which reported that 37.4% of the 18.3% of female students are raped in college ages and 1 in every 20 males and females are the recipients of unwanted sexual attention other than rape.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that around 12,000 sexual harassment complaints per year were made through the office from 2010 to 2016.
“My impression — and it’s only an impression — [of] Wisconsin is very disturbing,” Dziech said. “There are other states, other university systems that seem to me, to have handled this much better. [But] it takes a long while for some systems to start looking inward. And I think that what we’ve seen with politics and what we’ve seen now with Hollywood, will hasten that. At least I hope it will,” she added as an afterthought.
Yet with the proposal currently at a standstill, Ruh said every student who embarks on the path to higher education is putting themselves at risk:
“You’re being conned; anybody who signs up for higher education and [puts] all this money into it is being conned. All of this knowledge is being drained out of our society because of people’s lives being taken away. And it’s horrible.”’