Student On 'Hunger Strike' Until College Fires Professor Cleared Of Sexual Harassment Claims

"I’ve had nausea. I’ve had headaches, I’ve had muscle aches really bad. Even texting feels like work."

Lindsay Wrobel is on a "hunger strike" until the University of Rochester fires a professor accused of sexual harassment in a recent EEOC claim.

Wrobel claims she stopped eating on Saturday night and will refrain from food until she's either hospitalized or the professor is fired, whichever comes first.

Professor Florian Jaege was cleared of the sexual harassment allegations by both an internal and an external investigation. University of Rochester President Joel Seligman has publicly stated that "no violation of the law or University policy was found." Moreover, last week, Seligman announced a third investigation of sorts: an "independent investigator" will look into the complaints, too, just in case the school and law enforcement missed anything.

But some at the school, such as Wrobel, are not satisfied.

"Until Professor Jaeger is removed from the university, there’s going to be no trust among the student body," Wrobel told ABC affiliate WHAM 13.

"It is painful, it is scary thinking about what comes next. I’ve had nausea. I’ve had headaches, I’ve had muscle aches really bad. Even texting feels like work," she added.

On Saturday a "concerned caller" informed first responders of the "toll" the three-day hunger strike was taking on Wrobel, notes WHAM. "Lindsay refused help, but told public safety at the university she'd notify them if she needed hospitalization."

"I fully intend to do this until I’m hospitalized," said the U of R student. "I think what’s of primary importance is the students on this campus feeling safe. And as of right now, they don’t, and they won’t until Professor Jaeger is removed."

Wrobel is making her alleged hunger strike known via social media and is informing President Seligman of her health conditions via email.

In a statement to WHAM, Seligman wrote: "I have been in touch with Lindsay to tell her how concerned I am about her and to let her know that my primary concern is her health. She has every right to express herself as she chooses, but I urged her to put her well-being first. We are carefully monitoring the situation."

Dr. Jaeger has stopped teaching classes this semester but is still an employee of the school.

As noted by The New York Post, the EEOC complaint was filed at the end of last month by "seven current and former professors" and Wrobel.

The complaint alleged Dr. Jaeger has a “long pattern of sexually predatory behavior at the University of Rochester.”

The cognitive and brain sciences department professor “relentlessly pursued and engaged in numerous sexual relationships with BCS [Brain and Cognitive Studies] and visiting students, which he flaunted,” the complaint claims.

“He had unprotected sex with students, sent unwanted photographs of his genitalia to a female student, [and] lamented to others that he might have sexually transmitted diseases,” it says.

Jaeger "used illegal drugs with students and hosted hot tub parties,” ​per the complaint.

In a statement released earlier this month, Seligman explained that the allegations against Jaeger, while disturbing, were scrutinized under two investigations — one internal and one external — and "no violation of the law or University policy was found":

We understand that those not familiar with the investigation conducted would find the language in the complaint deeply disturbing. However, the core allegations in this complaint were thoroughly investigated and could not be substantiated. We are highly confident in the integrity of these investigations—we followed our processes for fair investigations and due process for all involved, interviewing dozens of witnesses whose names were given to us as alleged victims. Through two separate investigations — one by an internal investigator and one conducted by an external investigator — no violation of the law or University policy was found.

We believe that the 100-plus page complaint document represents a narrative that is largely based on hearsay that was not substantiated in our investigations or in the subsequent appeals, and ignores factual evidence.

An online petition calling for the removal of Jaeger and a "reevaluation of sexual harassment policy" at the university has collected over 7,500 signatures.


What's Your Reaction?