CHICAGO (CBS) — A list accusing a dozen University of Chicago students of rape was circulated over the Internet this past weekend, and although it has been taken down, it has generated plenty of discussion.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports classes don’t officially start until next week at school’s Hyde Park campus, but someone posted a list of 12 names on Tumblr, accusing both straight and gay undergraduate men of “gender-based violence.”
Those names have since been removed, and the Tumblr page no longer exists, but the names also have been listed on fliers passed around campus.
Most of the students on campus are freshman attending Orientation Week.
The list was first reported on the website Jezebel. The anonymous authors of the post said they were keeping the Hyde Park community safe, claiming the University would not.
The list claimed to identify students who sexually harassed or sexually assaulted other students.
The university would not comment directly on the allegations, but said it rewrote its policy on sexual misconduct in July as part of a federal investigation.
The U.S. Department of Education notified the school in January, but school officials said policy changes already were underway.
New students on campus said they didn’t feel publishing the list of names was necessary.
“This kind of might be more like slander, but it’s definitely really important to be getting the word out, because I know there’s a lot of projects in the news recently … centered around sexual harassment and assault,” Sarah McNeilly said. “So it’s definitely an important issue to talk about.”
Fellow freshman Emma Preston said, “I was a little nervous at first, yeah. I mean, I’ve definitely heard all the statistics about how one in five women will be sexually assaulted at some point during their college career.”
Choiselle Marius said incoming freshmen took an online course on sexual harassment and how to avoid it.
“I’m just hoping people who took it and paid attention to it will kind of take it to heart,” she said.
In a statement, school officials said:
“The University of Chicago has a particular commitment to preventing and addressing sexual misconduct, unlawful harassment, and discrimination, which is essential to sustaining an academic community in which all can participate fully and freely.”
In May, there was a similar situation at Columbia University in New York, where a list of alleged rapists was circulated, drawing international attention.