A second incident of privacy violation in OSU’s bathroom allegedly took place on Tuesday, February 26. The OSU Department of Public Safety emailed the campus, stating that they received a report of someone attempting to film the occupant of a stall in the men’s bathroom of the Memorial Union Building (MU).
Around 2 pm on Tuesday, February 26, according to the email, “the suspect attempting to video record was identified by a witness to be a male of Asian descent, 5 feet 6 inches tall, of slight build and was reportedly wearing a black puff coat, black pants, and black shoes with white stripes.” The Department of Public Safety are asking anyone with information to call 541-737-3010, and stated OSU is “currently reviewing bathrooms on campus to determine if changes are necessary for increased security.”
This incident comes a few weeks after another student was arraigned on a first-degree felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly creating and using a small hole in a stall of the sixth floor men’s bathroom in the Valley Library. There is no evidence these two cases are related.
According to Josh Hunking, who represents Andres Lazaro Lopez, the student arraigned in January, their case is more complex than the charges let on. Hunking says the root of the incident was “gay cruising,” the practice of homosexual men finding public places to meet and have sex without being caught. The Daily Barometer found “multiple Facebook pages, blog sites and news articles that have referenced the Valley Library’s sixth floor bathroom as a frequented place for cruising.”
While public safety officials claimed in January that these cases are unprecedented, they are presented alongside claims that Valley Library has seen incidents like this before. After Lopez was arrested, reports stated that “the library bathrooms have now been checked for holes in the walls, and all that were found have been filled.”
-By Ian McRonald