University of Chicago "Rape List" Names Alleged Sexual Predators on the Hyde Park Campus

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 30: A Pedestrian walks through the Main Quadrangles (Quad) on the Hyde Park Campus of the University of Chicago on November 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The university president closed the campus today after the university was informed by the FBI that a threat of gun violence was made against the school specifically mentioning the 'campus quad'. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Source: Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Even though the school year has just started, there have already been disturbing sexual assault incidents on college campuses that show how much more work needs to be done to keep college women safe. A group of anonymous citizens on University of Chicago’s campus recently took matters into their own hands when they published a University of Chicago “Rape List” on Tumblr.

The lists consists of six names of current and former U Chicago students allegedly “known to commit varying levels of gender-based violence,” along with their class year and a label of “code red” or “code orange,” red being for the most severe offenders. The list has been dubbed the Hyde Park List, after the location of U Chicago’s campus. The Tumblr page was started by a group of “Concerned Citizens” whose goal is "Keeping the community safe — since the University won't."

Tumblr took down the page after less than two days, leading to upset among women who think that students on campus have a right to know the names of men who could pose a threat to them. Others, and likely the higher-ups at Tumblr who took down the page, think that the list defames men who have not been proven guilty of any gender-based violence.

Marybeth Seitz-Brown, who worked with No Red Tape at Columbia University, told Feministing, “How frustrating it is that there are ... Tumblrs that encourage eating disorders, and all kinds of awful, hateful content out there that gets left up for years and years, but THIS blog was taken down within hours? I’m sorry to survivors who didn’t get a chance to name their abusers, assailants, and perpetrators, and I’m so disappointed in Tumblr staff for enabling oppressive blogs but policing survivors.”

Rather than simply allowing the issue to be swept under the proverbial rug, the University of Chicago administration should try and get to the bottom of these incidents, and ask women to step forward who might have any information. Sadly, even if this happens and the men are found guilty, they might not even be expelled, meaning that other girls could be at risk. While the idea of putting up a list of names without an accountable accuser is obviously problematic, these "Concerned Citizen" did get something right — enough is enough. It’s time for colleges to put an end to campus sexual assault.  

Image: Courtesy of Jezebel

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