Student details incident of sexual harassment in Stauffer Library

Campus security responded to complaint Friday night

Campus Security responded to sexual harassment complaint on Feb. 28.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Around 11 p.m. on Friday in Stauffer Library, a female student and her friend were disrupted from their studies when a male sexually harassed them.

On Feb. 28, Erin Moffatt, ArtSci ’20, “trusted her gut” and called campus security after a man approached her and a friend at a library table, bringing their attention to  what appeared to be an erection. Campus Security responded and searched the library, but the man had left the scene before he could be apprehended.

“I noticed a guy walk by out of the corner of my eye once or twice, but I wasn’t really thinking about it because I was focused on my work,” Moffatt said in an interview with The Journal.

She added the man made eye contact with her and her friend Amiee before entering the washroom on the second floor of the library. She said she felt him staring at her when he emerged.

“I looked up and that’s when I notice him and, in his pants, [was] an insane bulge,” Moffatt said. “It was evident that he had either put something in his pants or had done something to his body.”

Moffatt then nudged her friend to alert her to the situation. When her friend looked up from her work, Moffatt said the man darted to the bookshelf beside their table and tried to start a conversation. The man eventually walked away, giving the students a chance to discuss the situation.

“Amy [said], ‘Call campus security,’” Moffat said. “It was pretty evident that he was trying to flaunt it off.”

Just as she was about to dial campus security, Moffatt said the man returned to the back of the second floor where the two women were studying.

“I was frantically trying to get the number, and he walked back up to our table and he started talking to us,” Moffatt said. “We just put our heads down to our laptop.”

Moffatt said that the man identified himself to her as Caleb. She said he told her he was interacting with them because he was studying Somatics and was performing experiments to gauge their reactions to his erection.

“He started talking about how he want[ed] to see how our eyes react to his physiology,” Moffatt said. “He would try and reference his boner, and was saying something about how he wanted to get in contact with us and talk to us.”

Moffatt said the man handed her a paper with his name, email and phone number before walking away.

“We instantly called the emergency campus security number,” she said.

Moffatt said campus security was quick to respond, and that they asked her questions about what he looked like, and where the incident happened.

“Campus security came to [Stauffer] and they searched throughout the building and a police officer was there,” Moffatt said. “We could see the campus security guards thoroughly searching [the library] looking for him.”

Security followed up with Moffatt the following morning, asking her to describe the suspect further. According to Moffatt, the man was between 25 and 30, 5’10” tall with a medium build, and dark brown eyes and hair.

“I reached out to campus security to try to understand if this incident has happened more than once,” she said, referencing the responses to her post in Overheard at Queen’s, a popular Queen’s Facebookgroup.

According to Moffatt, campus security reported that other girls had come forward with similar stories, but that her situation was an isolated incident.

“I feel like there needs to be a system in place where students can aid in the assistance of finding these people, because oftentimes these aren’t isolated situations,” Moffatt said.

Moffatt emphasized the importance of ‘trusting your gut’ in situations where someone feels unsafe.

“To anyone in my situation, if you ever feel uncomfortable, it’s always best to call someone,” she said.

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