The Society for American Archaeology acts immediately to create a safe space for the good ol’ boys!


Speaking of the privileged professoriate, here’s another example, David Yesner, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska.

Yesner has been accused by nine women of sexual misconduct that spanned decades during his time at UAA. The accusations include keeping pornography on his work computer and assaulting a woman during a research outing. According to KTVA, which obtained a report of an investigation into Yesner’s actions that UAA had commissioned, the women’s accounts were credible.

On Monday (April 8), UAA prohibited Yesner from entering the campus and attending any school events. “If you see him or become aware of his presence in any such location please inform the . . . person in charge of that location and contact the UAA Police Department at xxx-xxx-xxxx or other law enforcement personnel without delay,” the school alerted students in an email, according to KTVA.

Whoa, he’s been banned from campus and you’re supposed to report him to the police if you spot him? Sounds serious. So why is he hanging around the Society for American Archaeology meetings this week? A journalist, Michael Balter, who was supposed to speak on a panel on #metoo in archaeology, saw him, reported him to the conference leadership, and confronted him.

So it was with shock that Balter heard of Yesner showing up at the SAA conference this week. Balter took to Twitter yesterday morning to alert conference goers and track Yesner’s movements throughout the building. Within a few hours, he encountered Yesner himself and told him to leave. Balter says he immediately informed SAA’s communication officer, Amy Rutledge, of what transpired and repeatedly called and emailed her afterward to follow up and see if SAA would boot Yesner from the meeting.

But it was Balter who got kicked out.

Yes, you read that right. Balter was evicted from the meeting and missed his panel. Yesner is still prowling about the conference. Several of the victims of his harassment are presenting at the meeting, and @SAAorg is busily tweeting about how “SAA has been in the forefront in creating an anti-harrassment policy that is designed to make the meeting a safe space for all attendees, which includes SAA staff”. They acted swiftly, don’t you know, to take action against the wrong person.

I mean, really, when his own university does this

The University of Alaska Anchorage police department sent an email to students, faculty and staff Monday evening alerting them that David Yesner had been banned from “participation, affiliation or association of any kind with the University of Alaska,” including public and private events. He is also banned and trespassed from all property owned, controlled or used by UA, including the Anchorage campus.

“If you see him or become aware of his presence in any such location please inform the UA person in charge of that location and contact the UAA Police Department at xxx-xxx-xxxx or other law enforcement personnel without delay,” the email said.

…why is the national organization failing to recognize a serious problem?

This also looks familiar.

During that period of time, UAA [University of Alaska at Anchorage] received 86 Title IX reports. Not a single report resulted in disciplinary action.

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