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Conservative white professor falsely accused of harassing black student in viral video

University investigation found no cause for disciplinary action

A black University of Dallas student’s viral video claiming a white professor “harassed” her for listening to a recorded lecture too loudly outside her office is unfounded, a campus spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Clare Venegas, vice president of marketing and communications, told The College Fix officials investigated the student’s claims against history Professor Susan Hanssen in the video, which has amassed more than 7 million views on TikTok in the past week.

Administrators at the private Catholic university found no cause for disciplinary measures against the professor, who is well-known on campus as a conservative scholar.

“The University of Dallas takes all allegations of harassment and discrimination seriously,” Venegas said. “As has been publicly disclosed, university officials undertook measures to investigate the student’s allegations, and the matter was resolved with a finding of no policy violation and no recommendation for disciplinary action.”

The student and professor both said they were satisfied with the university’s decision, Venegas told The Fix.

The video of the interaction, which the student posted last week but actually took place six months ago, shows the student, identified only as Cori, and Hanssen filming each other in the hallway of a university building near the professor’s office, according to the student’s TikTok page, @coritoocutee.

In the Oct. 11 post, Cori said the professor “harassed” her for “listening to a lecture” on her laptop without headphones because she did not want to close her office door.

The College Fix contacted Cori this week through her TikTok and Instagram accounts to ask why she posted the video six months after the interaction, if she was aware of the university’s investigation outcome, and if she thinks race was a factor in the incident, as some have implied. She did not respond.

Venegas said Hanssen has become the target of “defamatory” attacks since the video went viral last week.

“The recent posting of the video has resulted in an onslaught of unjustified and defamatory attacks on Dr. Hanssen’s personal character, which we strongly condemn,” she told The Fix. “The University of Dallas prides itself in forming our students to think well, to reason well, and to dialogue civilly, virtues and behaviors that social media platforms are not conducive for cultivating.”

Hanssen also confirmed to The College Fix the university found no cause for disciplinary action against her.

“The university investigated the incident and concluded that there were no grounds for opening a Title IX case nor any unprofessional behavior requiring disciplinary action,” Hanssen told The Fix in an email Monday.

Within the past week, the student posted two videos on TikTok about Hanssen. The first video shows Hanssen walking around the hallway, filming the student.

In a second video, published over the weekend, which has more than 400,000 views, Cori told her side of the story. She said she was sitting at a table near the professor’s office listening to a lecture on her laptop when Hanssen approached her to complain about the noise.

Cori said she turned down the volume on her computer, but Hanssen approached her again a short time later asking “if she had headphones or if she could leave.” Hanssen told the student her office hours were starting soon, Cori said.

“I was like, ‘No, I don’t have headphones, and I’m not gonna leave.’ And after that, it took a whole turn,” the student alleges in the video. “She was like putting her fingers in my face. She was like, ‘I despise students like you.’ And I was like, ‘What? Baby girl? Students like who? Students like who?’”

Eventually, Cori said the professor called campus security, and when the officer arrived, he “sympathized” with her, not Hanssen.

“So, when he leaves and he doesn’t do anything about it, she’s still p—ed off,” Cori said in the video.

At one point, Cori said she did turn up the volume again just to be “petty” because she was upset Hanssen was recording her.

“I do admit I was probably petty, oh like I’m going to turn it up,” she said.

None of this interaction is shown in the first video, and the second video does not include any additional footage of their interaction.

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.