UR student now 5 days into hunger strike

Sep 18, 2017

Credit Lindsay Wrobel

It’s been almost five days since University of Rochester student Lindsay Wrobel has had anything to eat.

Wrobel is on a hunger strike in protest of the UR administration's response to allegations of sexual harassment involving tenured UR professor Florian Jaeger.

A number of current and former students and faculty filed an EEOC complaint about Jaeger’s alleged inappropriate behavior.

A rally of around 200 students met last Wednesday on the UR campus disappointed and angry with the university after they cleared Jaeger of any claims made against him. This is when Wrobel began her strike.

"You get shaky, your muscles get weak, you get nauseous, you get headaches, you get light headed, you feel tired all the time, it’s not easy."

Wrobel said she chose to hunger strike in part because of some of the allegations in that EEOC report of Jaeger commenting on women's body images and weight. She also wanted to do something the administration will have to respond to.

"It’s easier to avoid when it’s just a bunch of people they can ignore or walk away from that are saying "I’m hurting." But it’s really a lot harder when you see it on somebody's physical body and physical person."

Wrobel says she is meeting with university health services as well as dietitians over the course of her strike.

Despite all the media attention focused on her, Wrobel said it’s important that this strike represents much more.

"This is about every person who's been assaulted or harassed and felt alone and felt like they had no recourse."

Wrobel said UR President Joel Seligman has responded to an email she sent him acknowledging her strike, but she will continue to strike until Jaeger has been fired or resigns; and the university commits to a specific structure for a group to review its sexual misconduct policies.

The University of Rochester has not responded with a statement on the strike at this time.