Bino Campanini

Bino Campanini sits in the Clemente Center gymnasium wearing the Pete the Panther mascot costume.

Students and staff have come forward to talk about times they have felt or witnessed harassment by the previous Senior Vice President Bino Campanini. They noted that they did not see Campanini on campus for a majority of March and did not have a clear answer for his absence. 

On April 1, an email was sent out to faculty, staff and students that said Campanini had resigned from Florida Tech. No further explanation was given.

Human Resources has declined to comment on this matter. Wes Sumner, vice president of executive communications, stated in Senior Vice President resigns from Florida Tech,  “As a matter of practice, Florida Tech does not discuss personnel matters.”

Sources are not only talking about what they felt were uncomfortable situations in the workplace, but also during campus events. Since February, two staff members, one who has asked to remain anonymous, and seven students, two who have asked to remain anonymous, shared negative experiences they’ve had with Campanini.

A Student Life employee said when Campanini became involved with Student Life two years ago, they felt a “change in office culture.”

The employee said they were working in a place where staff should be role models and guide students. They noted Campanini’s behavior and inappropriate language did not fit that standard.

They recalled a time where he came into the office screaming. They said that he was so loud, they thought his voice could be heard throughout the building and even outside.

This employee took pride in their own work ethic and in one account they said that Campanini made them feel as though they were less than that. In a confrontation with him, they said he made them feel “humiliated” and “degraded.”

They also said that they never felt that Campanini truly cared about the people working in the office and only about what he could make them do.

The outgoing Dean of Students, Rodney Bowers said he has known Campanini for a long time and has never seen him harass or treat anyone disrespectfully.

“I think this claim is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“It’s none of your business why he resigned,” Bowers stated. “It’s absolutely none of your business.” 

Krishna Patel, the director of Student Wellness and Programming, who worked with Campanini, said she did not have a comment on the matter as she has been on maternity leave. 

A current student life employee who also worked with Campanini said they were not aware of any issues involving his behavior. 

Jeffrey Richardson, the manager of the Gleason Performing Arts Center, said he witnessed instances where students may have felt uncomfortable by Campanini’s comments.

“I did witness one or two times when people definitely could have felt harassed, and I definitely understand, if they walked away from a discussion or a meeting with him, where they may have felt that way,” Richardson said.

Student Experience

Austin Sisinni is a student working in the office of Student Life and holds a position in the student government. Before Campanini’s absence in March, Sisinni said he had both witnessed and experienced harassment from Campanini.

Sisinni said Campanini made fat phobic comments towards himself and towards other students in the office.

“I always got addressed as ‘big man.’ I’ve said please don’t do that. He knows my name,” Sisinni said. “But every time it’s ‘what’re you doing big man’ or ‘how’s it going big man.’”

While working in the office, he said he saw Campanini make microaggressions towards a person of color in the office referring to them as “sista”. Sisinni said he saw Campanini proceed to “snap” and yell at the other person in the office.

Carolynne Garutti is another student working in Student Life as well as a member of the student government. In February, she emailed a letter to the previous university president, T. Dwayne McCay, the Board of Trustees and Human Resources outlining instances in which she believed Campanini violated university policies. 

Garutti presented her case as a student working on campus, not as a member of the student government.

In the letter to McCay, Garutti explained an exchange she had with Campanini. While speaking with him about a possible incentive program, Campanini stood over her.

“Standing over someone is a known tactic in order to assert power and dominance over

someone else,” Garutti said in the letter.

The first Student Life employee mentioned, also said that they felt Campanini had no sense of personal space and would often “barge in” to various Student Life offices.

While working in Student Life, Cat Nanney, director of Student Activities and Greek Life, had her office renovated. Garutti said in an interview and in her letter to McCay that she saw Campanini insist that the new door to Nanney’s office have a glass panel so that he could “keep his eyes on her.”

Nanney, who has worked with Campanini, declined to comment on the matter.

Garutti explained that Nanney has since become a Title IX investigator so the confidentiality students expect when discussing Title IX related issues has now been diminished because of the glass panel allowing a direct view into Nanney’s office.

Fanak Baarmand, the Title IX coordinator, has a wooden door with no glass panels. Baarmand’s office additionally has windows with shades that can be closed for privacy.

Another student shared their experiences with Campanini. “He would constantly put us down,” the student said.

The student said Campanini would dismiss their academic achievements, and witnessed Campanini make comments about a gay student, and make “dumb blonde” jokes towards a blonde student.

Sisinni and Garutti went to Human Resources as students working on campus during the time Campanini was still on campus. They were asked if they thought that training modules could fix Campanini’s behavior to which they both responded “no.”

Campus Events

During the Fall 2021 Orientation, Garutti worked closely with Campanini where she witnessed him make several offensive comments.

Garutti said she witnessed Campanini say things like “Someone put a muzzle on this kid,” and “Sorry about him, we don’t let him out often,” referring to a student on the orientation staff team.

Seng Jhing Goh was present at International Orientation in Fall 2021 as part of the lead staff and said that Campanini, who was there to welcome new students, made several comments about race and ethnicity. 

“He was supposed to welcome the students, but he was not welcoming at all,” Goh said.

He said that the audience was not receptive to Campanini's comments, and was silent through a large part of the event.

“He would just laugh by himself, and then joke, which is not a joke, which is kind of like more towards microaggressions,” Goh said.

He recalled a specific instance while all the international students were gathered. Goh said that Campanini made every single Indian student in the room raise their hand, and proceeded to have them stand up. He said he went on to talk about how cricket is a terrible sport.

Goh said that he made comments towards students from other countries too saying how his home country, England, was better than all the other countries and better at sports.

During the summer months leading up to International Orientation in the Fall of 2021, Goh recalled that while he was preparing for the events he would often watch Campanini storm into the Student Life office yelling when things didn’t go his way.

“He would yell at the supervisors or someone… and you would see them quarreling,” Goh said.

Goh described it as a toxic work environment. 

Maria Sagastume is another student who worked as a lead staff member during the Fall 2021 International Orientation. She was outside of Gleason Performing Arts Center during the time Campanini was making the comments Goh recalled in his interview. She is also the president of the International Student Service Organization.

She said while she was outside welcoming students into the building, that she could hear Goh and Campanini on the speakers.

Sagastume said that when Goh introduced Campanini and Campanini took the mic, he proceeded to tell the new students that Goh was not entertaining.

“[Goh] was doing so much work in preparing the sessions and the way that Bino greeted him was not the nicest,” Sagastume said.

She said that she felt Campanini did not make a good first impression to the international students, especially as an upper administrator.

“We said sorry to some of the people that were there because of what he was saying because we really felt that it was not the most inclusive thing,” Sagastume said.

Another student who was at International Orientation shared similar experiences with regard to Campanini’s comments.

“I don't know what his intentions were, but in the moment, they seemed like they were not going somewhere good or somewhere nice,” the student said. 

The student also said they did not see any point in complaining about Campanini’s comments. They said they got to a point where things he said got so out of hand that there was no other choice than to tune out. 

“I was like, well, he’s part of the school body,” they said. “What am I going to say about this? Nothing’s going to change, it’s something else that happened.”

The student said the incident is a part of a broader issue international students face at Florida Tech.

“I just thought of it as another time when the international students feel like that. Which is pretty weird, because you would expect the school to like, handle it better. Just because we have so many international students, ” the student said. 

Eli Rines, a member of the student government, said he met with Campanini in 2020  to discuss issues on campus. One of the issues that was discussed was international students. 

“That is when he stated that international students do not need to be protected, that they’re not being discriminated against on campus,” Rines said.

Rines talked to Campanini about racism that Saudi and Asian students were experiencing on campus, which Rines said Campanini disregarded. 

“But there are so many students who are coming to me saying this is the critical issue here, we don’t feel comfortable here, and he seemed to think that was not an issue at all,” Rines said. 

Campanini did not respond to a voicemail message or two additional text messages that asked for a comment on this story.

The reasoning behind Campanini’s resignation is still unknown.

 

(7) comments

anannoyedstudent

How is this appropriate for a school website?

Anonymous

Michael, it is one thing to have "sophomoric antics" as a student athlete. It is another to still act like that as a grown man who is the Senior Vice President of a university. That has nothing to do with a "generation gap".

michaelantonio

I went to school at FIT when Bino was a student athlete here, & I worked for the athletic department. I never noticed any extreme behavior from Bino back then, but maybe we come from a different era, when people were not so easily offended by innocuous sophomoric antics.

We should not misinterpret the generation gap as a crime against humanity.

I expect intelligent students & faculty to adopt a philosophical approach to this juxtaposition, with the understanding that future generations will revile their own behavioral norms...

Gordon Patterson

"The breath of accusation kills an innocent name." Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sandy P.

And Rodney Bowers is a very nice man but he is completely wrong to tell The Crimson that this is “none of their business.” Students’ tuition is paying most of the salaries at FIT and Bino’s was definitely inflated. Keep digging. It’s good journalism and your rights as students.

Anonymous

I agree, it is very much students' business and their right. Bowers's statement comes across as strangely defensive, hostile, and frankly as a self-report.

Sandy P.

Yes; I worked with Bino for about 10 years. He’s arrogant, entitled and definitely not PC. He thinks his offensive remarks are funny. He was friends with all the trustees (since he used to be one until he lost his last job at Stottler Stagg and FIT hired him immediately and provided him with a Cush job and a hefty 6-figure salary. If you talk to other staff and faculty, you’ll find out that accusations against Bino are much more serious than harassment and inappropriate comments.

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