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On August 24th, 2018, the newly hired President of Bloomsburg University, Dr. Bashar Hanna, was accused of sexual misconduct by a female secretary working on campus of BU, at the height of the #MeToo movement, a time when women all across the country began stepping forward to testify against men (like Harvey Weinstein) who used their positions of power and influence to procure sexual favors, from women who had virtually no way to retaliate against their attackers.
Bloomsburg University, which has struggled for years with image problems stemming from the notorious Bloomsburg University “Block Party” weekend, was dragged back into the mud, yet again.
The allegations of sexual harassment came from a lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Krug in August 2018. The Philadelphia Voice reports:
“The lawsuit alleges Hanna subjected his administrative assistant, identified as Jane Doe No. 1, to sexual harassment and advances, including "putting his arm around her and kissing her." After she rebuffed his advances, the lawsuit alleges that Hanna retaliated against her, and Jane Doe No. 1 feared for her job.”
Before Dr. Hanna was hired by Bloomsburg University, he had been accused of sexual misconduct and pushed out of not one, but TWO state higher education institutions: Kutztown University and Delaware Valley University. This fact was made aware to the committee responsible for making recommendations on potential candidates to the presidency during the hiring and scouting process for Bloomsburg University.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
“Before arriving at Bloomsburg, Hanna had been quietly pushed out of two other Pennsylvania universities after being accused of mistreating employees, women in particular. Some former colleagues have called Hanna a “bully” whose treatment left them ill from anxiety. His critics, more than a dozen of whom spoke with The Inquirer, include secretaries, department chairs, and deans.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer continued:
“It was not the first time in his career that Hanna had proved a divisive, rather than unifying, figure.”
WHLM has prided itself on not jumping to conclusions in this, or any case involving such delicate situations, especially in the already divided community of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. On August 24th, 2018, when these new allegations were splattered across the headlines of the Press Enterprise, Joe Reilly, Owner of WHLM Radio, and host of the Morning Buzz said:
“… I will reserve opinion about the allegations leveled against him, as I would not want to do to him what he and this community did to us, albeit apples and oranges.”
But after today’s edition of the Press Enterprise was released with the headline ”Hanna denies he has mistreated anyone,” Joe could no longer remain silent about the victims of Dr. Bashar Hanna’s divisiveness.
Listen to the full podcast below!