Date: September 4th, 2008 10:58 AM
Author: Yale/Harvard 0L
Will Harvard Turn Blind Eye to Patrick Hamm Case?
by Newsdood | June 2, 2008 at 07:24 pm | 14546 views | 27 comments
Most schools would fire a teacher who seduced his student, plied the underage girl with drugs and alcohol, and sexually assautled her.
And then thereís Harvard.
The Internet Age has given rise to digital logarrhea. Blogs, twitters and flikrs all fuel this confessional spirit.
At Harvard, few have been hit by the urge to expose themselves than 20-year-old junior Lena Chen (http://www.thechicktionary.com).
Over the past few months, Chen has blogged and twittered about a new man in her life: ďPatrick.Ē
When she started posting pictures of her beau, ďPatrickísĒ identity immediately became obvious: Patrick Hamm, who holds a Teaching Fellowship with Harvardís department of sociology. (http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/gs/Hamm_Patrick/)
Thatís when Chenís bloggings and twitterings added up to scandal.
Patrick Hamm teaches for the sociology department, where Chen is a student. Obviously, this violates Harvardís policy on "Unprofessional Conduct Between Individuals of Different University Status" (http://www.fas.harvard.edu/home/administration/sexual_harass_guide.html)
Chenís blogs (http://thechicktionary.com) provide still more episodes which cross the line into unethical Ėeven illegalóbehavior. According to Chen, Patrick Hamm
*"help[ed] me hunt down [a] fake ID...since I lost mine in Greece" (April 2),
*violated substance-related laws: "he is not even fazed by my underage-ness and the fact that I have to deal with pesky things like drinking laws" (April 2),
"This conversation only makes sense in context. When high
'[Hamm]: Get your fingers out of your vagina! Weíre eating dinner.'
[Chen]: Itís not my fault Iím Chinese."
(This may (or may not) be related to a "Patrick Hamm" who was arrested in a 2007 New Bedford, Mass., drug bust.)
The picture morphs from ethically bleary to morally eerie when one reads from Chenís March 21st blog, which documents cases of borderline sexual assault
Practically asleep again, I started to murmur something about not being in the mood.
"You what?" [Hamm] demanded fiercely. I jolted from my haze.
His hand was back around my neck now, tighter this time. I hesitated before answering.
"Iím tired,Ē I said carefully. ďI donít feel like having sex."
"You donít feel like it?"
[Hamm] made it sound like the most inadequate explanation heíd ever heard. I shook my head. I felt like a girl.
"If you donít feel like it," [Hamm] continued. "Then you shouldnít have woken me up by rubbing youíre a*s against my c*ck and making out with me."
[Hamm] had a wicked look on his face, the same one he had when he dragged me around his living room by the hair and forced my head down on his c*ck so hard that I had to strain to catch my breath. He didnít have to say a word and I knew I was f*cked. I was going to be f*cked.
"Iím sorry," I whispered.
His grip tightened....and I started to gasp for breathÖ. he forced open my mouth with his c*ckÖ.He was more than halfway down my throat when I couldnít stand it anymore and had to pull away. He asked me if I wanted him to f*ck me and I nodded yes."
In light of the age discrepancy between Hamm (26) and Chen (20); in light of the power-differential between Hamm (a Teaching Fellow) and Chen (an Undergraduate pursuing a degree in Hamm's department); in light of Chenís past blogging of her involvement in mental-health therapy, itís not out of line to wonder: Was Chenís "consent" meaningful in response to Hammís physical coercion?"
Lena Chen has a fine sense of humor and a gift for writing. Sheís chosen to blog about her intimate life, which is her right.
But Hammís case is a different beast. A more mature, higher statused, older man appears to have taken advantage of a young, mentally vulnerable who pursues a degree in Hammís own department.
Harvard has yet to take action against this teacher who abused his position. Those who wish to protest the universityís ďsee no evilĒ can email the following officials:
Robert J. Sampson (Sociology Department Head)
Christopher Winship (Director of Graduate Studies)