Bathroom walls used to be a place where you could dick around while emptying the tank. Whether you were drawing penises or writing your friend’s number on the wall in the hopes that some meth addict would give him a call, it was a place to cure shitting-induced boredom. Sadly, in the past few months, bathroom walls have become a medium of communication for serious topics, such as the threats we saw out of Auburn University. More recently, students at Columbia University have turned to bathroom walls to post the names of alleged rapists.
Anyone who has paid attention to the news lately has heard at least a little bit about the issues going on at Columbia University. The school is currently fighting accusations of how it has handled reports of sexual assault cases around campus, which has led to federal complaints and faculty petitions demanding reforms be implemented. While the cases’ details–and how the school is dealing with the cases–are all over the Internet, a person (or a group) on campus decided to take identifying the alleged suspects into his or her own hands.
Last Thursday, someone found a list on a bathroom wall in a campus building that supposedly spelled out the names of the “sexual assault violators on campus.” The original list included four students, and it was written in four different handwriting styles, suggesting multiple students contributed to the list. While custodians covered up the graffiti shortly after its discovery, several more lists and flyers popped up in bathrooms around campus.
On Monday night, someone reported seeing graffiti in the first floor bathroom of the student union at the university, which listed the names of “rapists on campus.” Following suit, several more lists appeared in the library, along with flyers that were shoved into bathroom crevasses that detailed the same information found on the bathroom walls.
While the advocates are surely receiving the attention they desired, it is questionably unethical to use bathroom walls in a libelous fashion against likely unsuspecting students.
University authorities are still unsure who is defacing the bathrooms, and they have said the people involved could face disciplinary action for defacing school property, should they be caught.