UPDATE, FEB. 4, 2:10 P.M.: Cal State Fullerton is staunchly defending the sexual battery bulletin sent out to students, staff and faculty last week following the groping of two women. Campus activists and organizations rallied and marched this afternoon saying that safety tips provided amounted to victim blaming.
"Evaluated on its face, reminders to walk safely and carefully are no more evidence of victim blaming than TV blizzard advisories telling people to 'stay off the roads if they can and to drive carefully,'" says CSUF spokesman Chris Bugbee.
As for the loser who copped a feel? According to Bugbee, there's no arrest nor progress in the investigation to report at this time.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 3, 6;03 A.M.: Last week, some loser perv grabbed two women's butts as they walked near the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The sexual battery suspect is only described by campus police as being of medium build, wearing a dark jacket, and running in the opposite direction both times after he got his grope on.
Cal State Fullerton University Police sent out a bulletin the next day with details of the incidents and tips for women on how to avoid them. Campus groups and activists call the alert "victim blaming" and are planning a "Stop Rape Culture" rally at the school tomorrow in response.
Noting the two women walked alone at night, university police offered the following:
When possible, walk in a group.
Walk with your head and eyes up.
Don't be distracted by electronic devices.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Phone in suspicious behavior to the police.
"I'm sick and tired of being told to avoid these things when they keep happening," says Cal State Fullerton student Christina Prado. "It's always the potential victim's responsibility." She called for tomorrow's rally, saying the campus police bulletin's language perpetuates rape culture.
"Situational awareness is important, but we've heard it all before," Prado says. She herself used to park off campus and still walks back to her car with keys ready in hand. The Wednesday humanities quad rally at 1:30 is aimed at bringing attention and educating people on rape culture, victim blaming and sexual harassment. Campus organizations like the Women & Gender Studies Association and Queer People of Color Club are joining in.
Prado thinks the campus police should have put a heavy emphasis on sexual battery as wholly unacceptable. It's a long step away, but the Human Services major hopes that one day workshops on male privilege can be part of the solution, citing the example of LA-based feminist group Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade. Prado's more immediate next step is to speak with campus police themselves after the rally.
The Weekly asked CSUF police for comment but didn't receive a response. They booted it over to the college's media relations department instead. We'll update once we get their side of the story.
Two reported dorm rapes happened at Cal State Fullerton last year. As The Daily Titan noted, they were the first on record since 2010.
"It's not a one-time thing," Prado concludes. "It's going to be a process to figure out what safety means for women on campus."
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2