by Saimah Shareef
Assistant Photo Editor
A Benedictine adjunct professor was charged with battery for an incident involving a student in his class. John Wang, who taught chemistry at BenU, allegedly made inappropriate contact with a female student during the summer session. He was terminated from his teaching position at BenU because of the charge.
According to Michael Salatino, chief of Benedictine University Police, the incident took place during a one-on-one review session in one of the Birck classrooms. The victim related that while in a classroom in the lower level of Birck, while reviewing subject matter with just the instructor, Wang made advancements towards her. University Police conducted an investigation, conferred with the state’s attorney’s office and on August 4th University Police served an arrest warrant for battery against the adjunct faculty member for the encounter that he had with the female student.
Paul Darrah, spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, released details regarding the incident.
“John Wang was charged on August 4th with one count of battery. Wang knowingly made physical contact of an insulting nature with the victim in that he repeatedly placed his hands on the hand, head, hair, back and upper right thigh of the victim. He is out on bail right now after posing 10% of the $1,000 bail.”
Salatino explained that the nature of the incident, involving uninvited contact, made it fall under the battery statute, which states that any contact or touching of an unprovoked or insulting nature is considered battery.
The incident took place during a summer session of chemistry. When the victim came forward and reported the allegations to Campus Police, Salatino assured that Wang was immediately removed from his teaching responsibilities and a substitute teacher was put in charge of the class to finish off finals. The victim was also provided with any resources on campus or any resources for an advocate.
Another student of the class, who requested to remain anonymous, expressed her view of the professor and how the class ended.
“Before the class Dr. Wang seemed quiet, smart but hard to approach about questions on the material. He seemed like he was a low-key professor. After the incident, I think students were confused, but the reason for the change in professors was not disclosed. It was said he left on an emergency leave,” said the student.
University policy limits what administrators are able to disclose, said Maria de la Camara, Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“Unfortunately I would not be able to give you any information beyond what Chief Salatino already shared with you. In addition, Personnel Resources policies restrict any further statements in these circumstances,” de la Camara said.
Salatino stated Wang will no longer be in a teaching position at the university. He also encouraged that if any student, at any time, feels they may have been subject to something that wasn’t right, they should report it immediately.
“Campus Police is available 24/7. If any student believes they were the victim of anything inappropriate, they should immediately inform University Police. We will conduct an investigation to determine if there was any criminality,” said Salatino.