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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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susanshaddock May 14 2014 at 11:51 PM

Perhaps if the university administration would bother to do its job and protect the victims rather than the perpetrators, such tactics would not be necessary. Yes, I am sure there are serious ethical repercussions to vigilantism like this, but I am pretty damn certain that they pale in comparison to the repercussions of rape.

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3 replies
patriot1too May 15 2014 at 5:22 AM

What we want to know is just how the many false allegations against innocent young men are being handled. False allegations by females against males are far far too common in todays victim wannabe society. And this is a very liberal extremisist college so false allegations would be even more common.

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TheAOLExperience May 15 2014 at 2:53 AM

Pretty much any effort to expose the invasive, noisome, putrid, filth for the students to see and recognize, is a step in the right direction. This would make it easier for the female student population to identify the the problems, and prepare accordingly.

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1 reply
billjwja TheAOLExperience May 15 2014 at 8:23 AM

I agree. I think theguys should also write down the names of all the female false rape accusors, would you agree?

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1 reply
trynsemd billjwja May 15 2014 at 8:54 AM

YES! There is, currently, no risk in reporting regret as rape. Horrible!

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Buckingham's May 15 2014 at 2:29 AM

I'd call this more of a PUBLIC SERVICE. Good job!

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2 replies
billjwja Buckingham's May 15 2014 at 8:14 AM

Yes, let's kick all men out of college as women are always 100% honest and objective about rape as then there'll be no rape, right?

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billjwja Buckingham's May 15 2014 at 8:24 AM

The guys should write the names of all the women falsely accusing as well

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leblancaj May 15 2014 at 1:52 AM

Accusations of rape should result in actions by law-enforcement agencies, not university administrative actions.

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3 replies
crowland503 May 15 2014 at 1:24 AM

Those who posted the flyers, while they may be frustrated at the failure of the system, may get a dose of the adult world if accusing innocent people who hire damn good sue-happy lawyers. Remember. the French Revolution started with grandeur thoughts; and it became forever fixed with the blade of the guillotine! There are too many devious people who would love to set-up dumb-ass, snot-nosed college brats who have filthy rich parents; and if these kids don't think so, let them beware...

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Larry May 15 2014 at 1:23 AM

Typical reaction. The tolks who posted the names or instances are made to look like liars, while the people in chrge of the universities sit back and do nothing. The money won't get to the university bank accounts if the kids think they are not safe on campus, so their parents won't be too quick to sign them up.

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1 reply
billjwja Larry May 15 2014 at 8:25 AM

Should there be any males on campus, Larry?

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mstienlee May 15 2014 at 1:00 AM

Marxist Liberalism (INDOCTRINATION) does NOT work. This call for Vigilante Justice. Surprised? NOPE.

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Beverly Doyle May 15 2014 at 12:46 AM

If the Nigerian government had done its job in response to the kidnapping and possible trafficking of over 270 girls, the local militias would not have had to act as vigilantes.

Likewise, if Columbia and Barnard colleges had responded appropriately to the horrid levels of harassment and rape on their campuses, students would not have had to act as vigilantes.

Why is it so difficult for responsible parties to act responsibly? Does the safety of young women not matter? Are we silently protecting the "rights" of men to abuse women as they see fit? That may sound ridiculous and absurdly far-fetched, but I believe there is a lot of that kind of thinking underlying - perhaps even sub-consciously - the thinking and behavior of more men than I would like to admit in this day and age. This is really ugly..

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2 replies
Pearltrans Beverly Doyle May 15 2014 at 2:55 AM

Very well said. Exactly.

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billjwja Beverly Doyle May 15 2014 at 8:28 AM

Too many aren't raised by their dads, as 44% of kids today are illegitimate.
With no dad around as a role model teaching a boy to be a man expect lots of angry fatherless males out there. Perhaps when we as a society encourage men back into the family reverting back to intact families with active parenting things will change.
If you think any living situation enables men to become responsible, you're mistaken. Goes back to when feminism began kicking men out of the family back in 1971

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2 replies
onemadashell billjwja May 15 2014 at 8:36 AM

what the hell does a "dad" have to do with this? NOTHING! if you think not having a "dad" caused this YOU ARE THE BIGGEST IGNORANT PERSON IN THIS PLANET.

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eli billjwja May 15 2014 at 8:27 PM

whats your excuse for all the insecure angry boomer men whom were raised by their fathers , in "families", yet go around like the biggest victims on the planet now?
blaming mens behavious on feminist is hilarious you know...

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bigred8690 May 15 2014 at 12:27 AM

It looks like nothing has changed since the time I was in college. 25 years ago, I saw a female student crying in the cafeteria. She was being consoled by her friends. I looked over and noticed a guy who had a blank expression on his face. Later two campus police officers came, spoke to the girl, and then confronted the guy as he was leaving. To my surprise, they did not arrest him--only got his ID and referred him for university discipline--for allegedly exposing himself. That guy should've been handcuffed and booked not just given the equivalent of a citation to appear. So no, I am not surprised by the actions of these Columbia vigilantes--and I don't blame them.

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1 reply
onemadashell bigred8690 May 15 2014 at 8:41 AM

exposing oneself is just like rape huh?

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