U. Of Chicago Students Protest Handling Of Sexual Assaults
Above: University of Chicago Students are protesting the handling of a list of students who have been accused of sexual assault that has circulated on campus and on the Internet.
To some, the University of Chicago is now a school divided as an online feud erupts over the issue of sexual assaults on campus.
“Everyone’s worried about the safety of the victims, and now it seems they have to worry about the privacy of everyone accused,” said Sophie Holtzmann, a University of Chicago student.
Over the weekend, the names of six individuals accused of sex crimes against women, both current and former students, were posted on Tumblr. The post also classified the danger of their alleged assaults as code red and code orange.
Students say copies of the list were also seen in women’s bathrooms around campus.
“I’m really kind of worried about an anonymous group of students as judge, jury and executioner,” said Ian Hafry, a University of Chicago student.
Before being taken down, the list – which was first reported on a national blog for women’s issues – sparked a retaliatory post by the “UChicago Electronic Army.”
The group allegedly hacked into a school organization website and posted the name and picture of at least one alleged sex crime victim, and threatened further violence against the class of 2018.
“They’re making threats against students of the university, which is not ok at all,” said Athena Kern, a University of Chicago student.
More than hundreds of students, alumni and community members participated in a peace march Wednesday night in the Hyde Park neighborhood. University of Chicago alumna and rape survivor Christina Pillsbury also attended the march.
“I saw this and was really scared, terrified, upset in many many different ways; and worried for her, and worried for campus, and not willing to let these hackers control this conversation, or have any power,” Pillsbury said.
The U.S. Department of Education opened an investigation of the university’s handling of several sexual assault cases in February.
Meanwhile, university officials have not commented on the anonymous web posting but referred to their website, which says the university has a commitment to preventing and addressing sexual misconduct unlawful harassment and discrimination in its academic community.