The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Bucks Student Faces Creeps on Campus

Mae took “the long way” to class today. She walked through the charmingly landscaped gardens on campus, which are decorated with impressive fountains and sculptures that had once belonged to the Tyler family.

However, it wasn’t for her aesthetic appreciation of the gardens which she admits are

“pretty,” rather it had been to avoid other students that have made unwarranted sexual advances towards her.

Last semester, while taking a required course for her business major, she was partnered up randomly with another student in her class, whom she had agreed to meet in the library.

The assignment itself was simple enough, an Excel spreadsheet, but what was meant to be a team effort quickly turned into a singular work by Mae as her randomly chosen partner had other things on his mind.

“He asked me if I could do him a favor, which immediately gave me bad vibes.”

“Then he asked if he could take me to a nail salon, and when I asked why, he told me it was his sexual fetish to pay for women to have things done for them.” At that, Mae turned off her computer and walked out of the library, she then described in detail the events which took place to this reporter, who was sitting at a nearby computer terminal when the incident took place, and could see that she was visibly distraught.

She would have to share the same lecture hall as this sexual deviant for the rest of the semester, dreading every class period, nevertheless she would see it through and pass the course.

“It just made me feel like a fool, I thought this person might have actually wanted to work with me on the assignment, it’s just disgusting and uncomfortable.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time she had dealt with such behavior from male students.

“Another guy told me he wanted my Instagram so that he could low-key masturbate to my selfies.”

Mae has a naturally outgoing and friendly personality. She moved to Bucks County last August to further her education. Her dream is to start her own hair salon/tattoo parlor one day, so that she’s financially independent, and able to provide for her daughter.

Mae is a single mother. Today she is smoking a menthol cigarette, wearing denim jeans and a matching denim jacket which has a half-falling off Misfits patch on the back-left shoulder, a graphic t-shirt, and Dragon Ball Z styled Vans old skools. She’s 5’3 and she might be hard to pick out of a crowd if it weren’t for her green hair.

If you’ve ever met a single mother attending college classes, they’ll tell you, it’s a constant balancing act of priorities and responsibilities. However, Mae is both a dedicated parent and student.

What doesn’t help, is the anxiety which is brought on by the thought in the back of her mind that she might have to deal with perverts, like the creep in the library, or the unabashed degenerate sharing his unwanted masturbatory practices and fantasies.

As for why she hasn’t reported these incidents, and others to any authorities, she says: “I deal with this stuff regularly, I become numb to it; it’s upsetting when it happens, but it’s something you just learn to put up with.” She also stated how she wouldn’t feel like going through the process of filing a report and jumping through various bureaucratic hoops.

Such behavior shouldn’t have to be “put up with”, especially in an academic environment which already has enough stressors. The sort of behavior which Mae has become uncomfortably numb to is strictly prohibited in the Bucks County Community College Gender Based Misconduct General Policy statement, which pertains to all students, employees, faculty members, administrators, and trustees of the college, as well as contractors and vendors.

The Gender Based Misconduct General Policy statement claims that “Sexual harassment shall be defined for purposes of this Policy in the same manner as it is defined in applicable law. By way of example, sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

Official reports of this nature have not been frequent, at least from what can be seen in the Annual Security Report which had been published in September of last year.

“Obviously, it’s a topic we take very seriously.” says Dennis McCauley the current Director of Security & Safety at Bucks.

A section in the crime report referred to as Table 2 has the Crime Statistics for crimes reported on campus to the office of Security & Safety between the years of 2014-2016. In the year 2016 there was one report of a Forcible Sex Offense, and one report of Stalking which had come across the desk of Security & Safety.

McCauley went on to explain how Security & Safety responds to issues of Sexual Assault or Harassment: “We consider getting medical assistance if need be, we facilitate getting the police involved, file reports with HR and if it was an ongoing threat we’d issue an alert.”

The office of Security & Safety isn’t the only place on campus which deals with Gender Based Misconduct, in fact it’s one of the primary duties of the Title IX coordinator, Dr. Trish Brining.

Title IX was a part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which claimed “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”.

Victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment or any other form of sexual misconduct are encouraged to seek interim support and reasonable protection against further acts of misconduct, harassment or retaliation, through counseling services, which are provided by Bucks.

Anyone enduring or having recently experienced any form of sexual misconduct, who may be seeking help, can contact Dr. Trish Brining, Title IX Coordinator, at 215-968-8091, or Matt Cipriano, the Deputy Coordinator, at 215-968-8255.

Chances are that Mae is not alone, and nobody should have to walk the long way.

See other stories about the #MeToo movement