A group calling itself "The Women's Army" wrote a list of men it claims have committed crimes against women in a Van Pelt Library bathroom late last semester. The list, which included University students, listed the crime each man is accused of next to his name. The crimes listed are rape and battery. A note below the so-called "roll of shame" asked students to add the names of men who have committed similar crimes, women who read it said this week. According to Van Pelt Building Administrator Charles Jenkins and women who saw the list, it appeared sometime immediately before or during finals last fall. Students said the list is no longer on the wall. Jenkins said it is likely the list was washed off by one of the library's housekeeping workers. "We have housekeeping people working every day that the building is open," Jenkins said yesterday. "Our policy is to keep the walls clean so that we don't create an atmosphere where more graffiti does appear." In the spring of 1989, a group of people also calling themselves "The Women's Army" spray-painted "Stop Rape Now" in approximately 30 locations across campus where they believed a rape had taken place. It is unknown if the two groups are the same or if the same individuals are responsible for both incidents. University Life administrator Barbara Cassel said yesterday that the issue was discussed at a Safety and Security Committee meeting that she did not attend. Cassel said that if the person or people who wrote the list were identified it would be investigated through the University judicial system. But, she said that is unlikely since the identity of the writer is not known. Women's Center Director Elena DiLapi said yesterday she suspects that this is a copycat list, modeled after one that appeared in a women's bathroom of Brown University's Rockefeller Library. James Kaplan, Editor-in-Chief of The Brown Daily Herald explained this week that sometime in the fall of last year, a list of men was written on a wall in the bathroom along with a note which alleged that the men had committed sexual assault. The University attempted to paint over the list but someone continually rewrote it on the wall. Finally, in late November, the Coalition for Concerned Women held a forum with University officials and presented them with a list of their demands for reform. The demands included requests for a special Dean of Women's Concerns and improved security measures on campus. Subsequently, the University appointed two people to deal with the demands but, Kaplan said, there have been no major changes yet. DiLapi said she is most frustrated that when women speak against men who commit violent acts it is publicized and the accused men often gain public sympathy. But, said DiLapi, men have been writing derogatory things about women on bathroom walls for years without public outcry against it. DiLapi said that while she does not condone the action, she understands what might have motivated someone to begin such a list. "Women may be frustrated and feel that the system is slow and victim-blaming," she said. She said, however, that the University has improved its support services over the past few years. But these changes are "obviously not enough," she added. April O'Malley, an executive board member of Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape, said she considers the incident an indication that STAAR needs to continue to offer services to victims of sex crimes. "I can't condemn it or condone it," O'Malley said yesterday. "I think its a good example of the frustration that some people are feeling and that we need to take this as an indication that we should continue our work so people can be helped to deal with their feelings."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.