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Columbia students post 'Rapists On Campus' fliers

Columbia Students Post 'Rapists On Campus' Flyers

Students at Columbia University frustrated with their school's response - or lack thereof - to sexual violence have taken matters into their own hands - posting the names of alleged rapists.

"Sexual assault violators on campus" read the first flier. Student newspaper The Columbia Lion reports the names of four Columbia undergrads first showed up last week in a campus bathroom. According to the paper, "There were four distinct styles of handwriting, which suggests multiple authors."

​Student blogs and newspapers reported the same list then showed up in other bathrooms and on flyers posted around the university - this time with the label "Rapists on Campus."

Maintenance workers have reportedly been painting over the names, only for them to reappear elsewhere.

​The incident comes less than a month after 23 students from Columbia and Barnard College filed a federal complaint accusing Columbia of violating Title II, Title IX and the Clery Act, according to Time.

​They argued perpetrators of sexual violence were given far too lenient sentences and many are allowed to remain on campus. The university, they say, also discourages survivors from reporting their assaults.

That same month, another group of students promoting sexual assault awareness accused the university of trying to silence their protests, according to Newsweek.

Then there was this well-meant but perhaps insensitive gesture - a red, floral cake baked by the university's dining service meant to raise awareness for sexual assault some said portrayed sexual violence as romantic.

So far, much of the reaction to the bathroom postings has been positive. Here's what two Columbia students - both survivors of sexual assault - told WPIX.

"It's not like this was a fun thing to do for whoever wrote it, I'm sure."

"I'm really glad I saw those names. Because I can better use that information to protect myself and my friends."

But others question whether the vigilante-like tactic, even if well-intentioned, is the best approach.

A writer for PolicyMic says: "There are undoubtedly serious ethical repercussions to an anonymous act of vigilantism like this; after all, anyone could put any name on a bathroom stall and tarnish someone's reputation."

​Columbia did release a statement saying it had removed the "graffiti," and the fact that the university used the term graffiti is worth noting. As The Columbia Lion says, based on the university's rules of conduct, it "raises the possibility that the students who wrote the list will face judicial repercussions from the university, while those listed will not."

Some of the fliers also reportedly included a message to women, urging them to "stay safe, protect and support each other."

Join the discussion

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beverly May 15 2014 at 10:20 AM

This is not a new tactic at Columbia University. When I was teaching at the medical campus in 1973, students posted the name and description of a man who was raping women, including students, on the upper west side. He was not a student. The police were not doing anything about the claims of the women. I remember many of my students discussing the problem in a particular class. To my knowledge, no one was ever brought to justice.

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tcroof May 15 2014 at 11:43 AM

cut there dicks off and shove them down there throat

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1 reply
halversjohn tcroof May 15 2014 at 11:45 AM

they would probally get off on that

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evelyon7 May 15 2014 at 11:53 AM

I STILL THINK THAT CASTERIZATION WILL MAKE MEN THINK MORE THAN TWICE ABOUT RAPE. DISCUSTING MEN WHO DO NOT THINK ABOUT THEIR MOMS OR SISTERS "DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WANT DONE UNTO YOU.

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3 replies
Kent May 15 2014 at 11:54 AM

What I don't understand is why crimes on a college campus are handled by campus police. I went to a school that had 2 security forces. There was campus security and housing security. Housing security was responsible for safety in the dorms, while campus security handled security needs on all university property.

But, if there was any sort of violent crime, local police were called. If someone's wallet was stolen out of a classroom, that was for campus security to investigate.

In fact, I recall an instance of where a student embezzled money from a student council account. That matter was turned over to local police. The student was dismissed from school, and he wound up pleading out on a criminal charge.

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mckdarren May 15 2014 at 11:56 AM

If you're raped, call the cops. College adminsitrators have no expertise nor capacity to pursue the truth and justice effectively in criminal matters.

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Linda May 15 2014 at 12:13 PM

I think these commenters missed the point. It's not about rape happening or not, it's that Columbia isn't doing enough about it. It should be protecting the women and the men who might be accused unjustly. If nothing is done a rape could go unpunished and a reputation ruined if the person didn't do it.

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2 replies
racjaa Linda May 15 2014 at 1:01 PM

What is Columbia not doing? I read this article as alleged rapists. I am sure if these individuals are convicted they will no longer be on Columbia's campus. So what specifically should the school be doing in the case of accusations?

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billjwja Linda May 15 2014 at 2:09 PM

It's about men's reputations being deliberately destroyed despite not being proven guilty cause women are demanding.

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gregsimmons93 May 15 2014 at 12:16 PM

And so anyone can post anyone's name as a rapist and that is libel. I hate to not have all the facts but it has been a while. A guy's picture was posted on a west coast campus as a rapist. He sued the school for a lot of money and got it. The people on this list now have a tremendous suit against the school and especially if they can find the people creating the posters. If you are going to accuse someone of rape you better call the police!!!

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jcc2830 May 15 2014 at 12:18 PM

The whole college system is so liberal that everyone gets off easy unless your the victim. Time for the pendulum to swing back to the right. This liberalism is killing our country.

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2 replies
nolonger.urcountry jcc2830 May 15 2014 at 12:38 PM

I can't wait to see what people like you are so eagerly looking forward to. Another bush? Regan? Bush? Who? People like you always have problems, but no solutions. Sometimes your opinion just doesn't matter. unless its useful. So please with all due respect. Eat a rapists co%k:-)

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junior jcc2830 May 15 2014 at 12:48 PM

Wasn't liberals that shut down our country, course you'll never admit that.

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beverly May 15 2014 at 12:35 PM

if the powers that be won't listen---

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1 reply
racjaa beverly May 15 2014 at 12:58 PM

alleged rapists, not found guilty rapists. Aren't they at least, at the very least, entitled to a trial before names are published. What if someone went around publishing the names of rape victims? What if those accused are innocent. It is not like it hasn't happened before.

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2 replies
Karen racjaa May 15 2014 at 1:55 PM

I agree. Remember the Duke University incident? That went all the way to trial and were found not guilty, but the accused had their lives ruined anyway. We're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. These guys have not been convicted of anything -- or even charged -- and yet they are being subjected to libel. The burden is on the University and law enforcement to investigate fully and take appropriate action. If the students want to post flyers, they should be about encouraging authorities to do the right thing.. As long as they continue to accuse the men publicly, when they have not been charged with anything, the flyer posters are opening themselves up to libel lawsuits. Suggestion: start several petitions and deliver hundreds of thousands of signatures to the University and the NYT

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Donna racjaa May 15 2014 at 2:27 PM

What recourse does a victim have if NO trial ever takes place? If her assault isn't treated as a crime but as a "misunderstanding" or an embarrassment to the school or something that will affect a sports team? THEN the rapist goes scott free to be able to rape again!
We all KNOW that has happened before!

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Wyboo51 May 15 2014 at 11:41 AM

rape now, murder later,,believe it or not

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