Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
Students at UC Berkeley stormed the football game on Saturday between USC and Cal Berkeley and are threatening a hunger strike if a female professor is not reinstated after being suspended amid allegations of sexual harassment and stalking.
The students are angered that professor Ivonne del Valle, the only first-generation Mexican female professor at Berkeley, was suspended for allegedly harassing, stalking, and then retaliating against UC Davis professor Joshua Clover, The Post Millennial reported. Del Valle allegedly began stalking and harassing Clover in 2018 and continued her campaign against him until 2022, claiming without evidence that he had hacked her phone and computer, according to KQED.
"Professor del Valle isn't just any faculty member, she's the top expert in colonial studies,"
Berkeley sophomore Emily Chamale said during a protest last month against del Valle's suspension, KQED reported. "The question that haunts me is: If someone as respected as her is going through such things at Berkeley, what might the future be for the rest of us?"
Christián González Reyes, a Ph.D. student, was quoted as saying: "We want Ivonne back. We're not going to be silent anymore."
What led to del Valle's suspension was a series of investigations by Berkeley and del Valle's own admission that she had keyed Clover's car, scrawled messages outside his apartment, called his friends and mother, and called his office phone line at least 10 times within an hour and a half. Del Valle claimed her actions were due to being hacked, but the evidence she provided to KQED did not support her claims and did not point to Clover as a culprit.
"I did write outside his door, 'Here lives a pervert.' I did that. And again, I'm not proud,"
del Valle told the outlet. "If I had the opportunity to do things differently, I would do them differently."
She also acknowledged going to Clover's mother's home, but claimed the message she left was not a threat. She also denied that her behavior was sexual harassment. Del Valle also admitted to posting an image of Clover's partner online.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore declined to comment on the specifics of the case to KQED.
Three investigations were conducted into del Valle's behavior between 2019 and 2022, but the first complaint came in May 2018, after del Valle began sending Clover Twitter messages telling him that someone was bothering her and calling her names. Del Valle had met Clover after he spoke at Berkeley.
The first investigation found that del Valle, who has taught at Berkeley since 2009 and has tenure, had violated the university's policies against stalking and sexual harassment.
"The evidence additionally demonstrates that Respondent monitored, followed, observed, and threatened Complainant, both electronically and in person, and interfered with his property,"
the report said, according to KQED.
Del Valle claimed her actions against Clover were an attempt to defend herself after university officials and police didn't take her concerns about hacking seriously. She provided the news outlet with documentation regarding an analysis of her laptop and cellphone. Her cellphone had been compromised, but the computer was not hacked, according to the analysis. The analysis does not point to Clover, or anyone else, hacking her devices.
Berkeley found "insufficient evidence"
to support claims that Clover "engaged in any hacking of Respondent's electronic devices and is harassing or stalking her online."
Del Valle also claimed that after she would sent messages to friends or family on her phone or computer, Clover would tweet about similar topics. The evidence she provided to the news outlet, however, did not show any sort of eavesdropping.
Del Valle sent KQED the 261 pages of documentation she sent to Berkeley regarding the alleged hacking. A Berkeley investigator wrote that substantiating her claims were outside their scope but that it did not negate the fact that del Valle's conduct "would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or suffer substantial emotional distress."
At one point in the report, del Valle admitted to knocking on Clover's apartment door and saying she "was not leaving until he opened the door and explained what he was doing by hacking her."
She then slid a note under his door that said: "If you make me leave, it'll be worse."
Del Valle later left Clover a voicemail claiming: "I can do whatever the f*** I want piece of s***"
and "You need to still call me and apologize or you'll see what I'm going to do."
Del Valle would go on to key Clover's car and vandalize his apartment, leading to Clover moving in large part due to a "persistent sense of and considerable lack of safety,"
according to a report.
In a 2020 settlement agreement, del Valle was required not to contact Clover or his friends, family, or students. One year later, she violated that no-contact order by leaving messages near Clover's mother's home, as well as other violations, according to an investigation. This was determined in Berkeley's second investigation into her contact, which resulted in a nine-month suspension.
In 2022, Berkeley conducted a third investigation which found that del Valle violated the no-contact order. This time, she asked police for help using social media, and posted a photo of Clover's partner online.
Del Valle told KQED that she has been living out of suitcases since her suspension, and that she could lose her tenure and be fired if she doesn't accept an 18-month suspension Berkeley has offered.
"My life is completely destroyed,"
del Valle said. "I don't want UC Berkeley to think that they can do this to a minority woman in order to protect a white, senior professor. It's not acceptable."
For his part, Clover in 2014 tweeted that he was thankful that all living police officers "would one day be dead"
and has advocated for killing cops, suggesting shooting them in the back.
While UC Berkeley students are currently protesting to stop a professor from being punished for sexual harassment and stalking, students in the recent past have advocated for harsher punishments for just such accusations.
In 2016, students protested in order to get assistant professor Blake Wentworth punished after the university found him responsible for making offensive sexual remarks toward two graduate students, Kathleen Gutierrez and Erin Bennett. In that instance, students protested the school's lack of action, even holding a press conference. At the time, Wentworth was the latest in a line of male Berkeley employees to be accused of sexual offenses that were not punished adequately, according to students.