The Chronicle of Philanthropy published a fascinating story about a  young woman who worked in the development office at MIT when the institution was seeking Jeffrey Epstein’s money. She knew it was wrong, but she was young, a newcomer, and who would care what she thought.

Development support staff are rarely in the limelight, even within their own organizations. But Signe Swenson has had a whirlwind of a week. The former development associate at the MIT Media Lab helped inform New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow’s exposé about the center’s financial ties with the late Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender.

In previous interviews, Swenson recalled her and her colleagues’ concern that young women who accompanied Epstein on a campus visit and looked like models may have been victims of trafficking. “We literally had a conversation about how, on the off chance that they’re not there by choice, we could maybe help them,” she told NPR. Employees even checked the trash for any pleas for help scribbled on napkins and discarded. Among the lab’s staff, she told Farrow, “All of us women made it a point to be super nice to them.”

Swenson was in her mid-20s at the time and left the lab in 2016. Now director of marketing and operations at an education nonprofit, she spoke with me about what happened when she initially raised concerns to leaders and why she felt like she was one of the only people who could blow the whistle on Epstein’s relationship with the institution. This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

What follows is a Q and A. Here is one answer:

I expressed that I was aware of Epstein’s conviction and that I thought working with him was a terrible idea. I remember learning that if I chose to take the job, this was not going to be my choice, or necessarily Peter’s [Peter Cohen, director of development and strategy]. I did say that I guess it would be OK as long as I’m never in a room with Epstein. I sort of was drawing a line in that moment, but it’s interesting looking back. Clearly, I wanted the job very badly and did speak up, but it does feel as if I was just tested to see how confidential I could be. This was five years ago, and I was less confident than I should have been about my beliefs of what was unethical.

When it comes to fund-raising, there are no ethical standards in higher education or in the museum or library sectors. When robber barons or pedophiles have millions to cleanse their reputation, the institutions will take their  money.