A former Amherst college faculty member filed a lawsuit alleging that she was encouraged to sleep with and party with students in order to boost enrolment in courses offered by the school’s Spanish department.
After being terminated, former Spanish department lecturer Dimaris Barrios-Beltran claimed discrimination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination in a lawsuit she filed against the school and her former supervisor, Victoria Maillo.
Barrios-Beltran alleges that her former supervisor told her she like to select “pretty faces” when hiring teaching assistants in order to draw in more student to take Spanish classes.
The lawsuit alleges that one of Barrios-Beltran’s teaching assistants said Maillo was treating her as a “prostitute”. Maillo was displeased with the teaching assistant dating a student at the University of Massachusetts, rather than one at Amherst, concerned that her relationship would interfere with her ability to sleep with other students. Frustrated, the teaching assistant asked Maillo if she should sleep a different guy every night as she stated another teaching assistant was doing. Maillo responded, “that is what I brought you here for.”
Other teaching assistants Barrios-Beltran spoke with reported similar interactions with Maillo, stating that they were led to believe that they should “prostitute themselves” in order to incentivize more students to take Spanish classes.
A spokesperson for Amherst denies that Barrios-Beltran was fired in response to these events, stating, “This decision [to fire Barrios-Beltran] was made with no knowledge of the allegations Ms. Barrios-Beltran now raises, and which she brought forward only after she was told that her short-term contract would not be renewed.”
The teaching assistants have since returned to their native Spain.
Barrios Beltran also accused Maillo of making inappropriate comments about Jewish people, Puerto Ricans, and disabled persons. Maillo is also said to have used a radio program describing the benefits of pornography for one’s sex life as content for class. Barrios-Beltran, herself Puerto Rican, accuses Maillo of having discriminated against her on the grounds of her ethnicity.
According to the lawsuit, Barriot-Beltran “continues to suffer from emotional distress as a result of the actions” of Maillo and Amherst college.
Read the lawsuit below.