The Daily Evergreen

Jason Gesser resigns amid new sexual misconduct allegations

Gesser steps down day after OEO complaint, Wold reacts to news

Jason+Gesser%2C+pictured+here+at+a+Cougar+Athletic+Fund+event+in+2015%2C+was+the+subject+of+an+Office+for+Equal+Opportunity+inquiry+in+January+2018+regarding+complaints+of+sexual+misconduct.+
Jason Gesser, pictured here at a Cougar Athletic Fund event in 2015, was the subject of an Office for Equal Opportunity inquiry in January 2018 regarding complaints of sexual misconduct.

Jason Gesser, pictured here at a Cougar Athletic Fund event in 2015, was the subject of an Office for Equal Opportunity inquiry in January 2018 regarding complaints of sexual misconduct.

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Jason Gesser, pictured here at a Cougar Athletic Fund event in 2015, was the subject of an Office for Equal Opportunity inquiry in January 2018 regarding complaints of sexual misconduct.

IAN SMAY and DYLAN GREENE

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Jason Gesser, the assistant director of athletics for the Cougar Athletic Fund, has resigned following new allegations of sexual misconduct by former WSU volleyball player Alyssa Wold.

Gesser sent his letter of resignation to WSU on Tuesday.

The Daily Evergreen released a 3,100 word report last Thursday outlining a number of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Gesser dating back as far as 2014.

The Evergreen spoke with Wold on Monday, who said Gesser groped her without consent and made multiple unwarranted attempts to forcefully kiss her following a CAF event in the Puget Sound area in 2015.

Gesser’s resignation announcement is replicated in full below.

“I am deeply saddened that recent circumstances in my private life have created a distraction for the Department and University. While I certainly never intended to hurt anyone, I believe it is best for all involved for me to move on.

I would like to thank Bill Moos and Dr. Elson Floyd for giving me this amazing opportunity to serve an institution I love. I am also deeply grateful to Dr. Kirk Schulz and Pat Chun for their fantastic leadership these past several years. I apologize to each of you for creating a situation that reflected negatively on WSU in any way.

To the young woman that I made feel uncomfortable, I respectfully have a different recollection of the situation you’ve described, but acknowledge that I should never have been in the situation in the first place, and I apologize. I truly never meant to cause you harm.

This is a very difficult time for me and my family, and I truly appreciate our friends, including the incredible colleagues and alumni I have met through my time at WSU. With this personal matter being made so public, it is taking a toll on my family in this close-knit community. I appreciate your understanding for the impact this has on them.

I remain a proud supporter of WSU, and I wish this community all the best.

Respectfully,

Jason Gesser.”

Wold released a statement it response to Gesser announcing his resignation.

“It’s been a long and difficult 48 hours, and an even more difficult three years. I’m extremely happy to see that Jason has resigned his position of influence and power at WSU.

It’s a relief to know that no other young women will be subjected to Mr. Gessers actions and abuse of power. I pray he gets the help he needs and that his family can move forward.

I also pray that this event will serve to give encouragement to others. Staying silent is no longer an option. If my story resonates with you, come forward. Bring it to the light so that we all – as a community – can begin the healing process. And to my Coug nation; thank you so much for the support. You are an amazing family.”

WSU President Kirk Schulz and Director of Athletics Pat Chun released a joint statement in response to Gesser’s resignation.

“Late this afternoon, Washington State University received a letter of resignation from Jason Gesser, following the complaint shared with the Office for Equal Opportunity on Monday. The University has accepted Mr. Gesser’s resignation effective immediately.

We sincerely appreciate the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with concerns of this nature. We take the allegations extremely seriously, and the Office for Equal Opportunity intends to continue its investigation.”

ASWSU released a statement Tuesday condemning sexual violence and misconduct and encouraged students, faculty, staff and administration to participate in Green Dot intervention and cultural competency trainings regardless of past experience.

About the Writers
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal justice, and served as the crime & courts beat reporter from Aug. 2017 – May 2018. He can be reached at [email protected]

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen Editor-in-Chief

Dylan Greene is a journalism and media production major from Stanwood. He started as the football beat reporter in the fall of 2017 and midway through that semester he was promoted to Assistant Sports Editor. He served as the Sports Editor for the 2018 spring semester and became Editor-in-Chief in May of this year.

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Jason Gesser resigns amid new sexual misconduct allegations