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Elon University Professor Fired After Sending Suggestive Texts To Female Students

One student agreed to share her story in the hope that others will feel safe enough to come forward if they're feeling harassed.

Posted on May 7, 2014, at 3:40 p.m. ET

Hans Arneson, a former professor of religious studies at Elon University in North Carolina, was known around campus as being a "nice guy" and "really chill" teacher.

Like many professors at the small college, Arneson would give his number out in class in case anyone had an emergency and needed to contact him. One student, Amy, told BuzzFeed she reached out to him when her laptop broke an hour before a paper was due.

Amy, who asked that her last name not be used, said that Arneson continued to contact her, and that the texts were "questionable throughout the semester" that she was taking his Introduction to the New Testament class.

Amy would begin to skip classes, feeling uncomfortable by the messages, but replying to be polite. The night before the final exam, Amy said the texts became "extremely inappropriate."

After having dinner with a few freshmen girls, Amy found out that the 34-year-old professor was emailing one of them about alcohol.

"I felt protective over her and realized it was only going to get worse if no one turned him in," she said.

Amy brought the texts to university officials, and said Arneson, a former Fulbright scholar, was fired within the week. "They were very good about taking care of the situation thoroughly," she said.

After coming forward, Amy said that other young women who Arneson was contacting reached out to her to thank her for coming forward, sharing their own stories with her. A few of these texts belong to them, though they remained anonymous.

Elon's Vice President For University Communications Dan Anderson confirmed to BuzzFeed that Arneson was no longer employed by the university.

Anderson added, "As a matter of policy, Elon University does not discuss personnel matters, and we will not discuss facts related to the case reported by our student media."

Arneson did not respond to requests for comment.

Amy said she came forward because she wants to let other students know that it's safe speak up when things like this happen, and that you will "only be surrounded with support."

"I feel that I did the right thing and just hope that I at least helped one guy or girl," she said.

h/t Elon Local News