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perp's in our lab space

Sally Burns burnssal at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Jun 4 12:36:46 EST 1997

	Last fall I was working in the lab on a Sunday evening, and went to use
the womens restroom. I saw a man go around the corner of the stall to an
back area of the restroom  with a daybed. Thinking this guy just made a
mistake and was embarrased, I yelled "this is the womens room" and left.
I returned several minutes later and knocked, asked if any one was
there--NO Answer. I entered the bathroom and looked  and there was this
guy sitting on the couch with his pants down!!! I yelled at him, found
another lab worker and called security. Since then he has been convicted
of a misdemeanor charge and had to get counseling.((WHICH is known not
to work very well when compulsory)

This guy is a grad student and has an office and keys to one of the
biggest lab buildings on campus.
		I have contacted his chair, the ombudsperson and others. I think he
should be restricted to daytime use of facilities where he poses less of
a problem.  His presence is a direct threat to womne grad students, post
docs, faculty and others who use this building.
	 	Frankly I think he should be thrown out! He ceratinly should not get
an assistanship. and the least would be to have his keys taken away so
that he is restricted to daytime use of the facilities! I think the
university is endangering other women, allowing a hostile environment to
		As a woman grad student I have had to go in and out of these labs very
late  at night. It is bad enough that the U has giant bushes to walk
past on the way to your car ((assuming you have one)). It is outrageous
to me that a known perp is allowed privelidges. 
	...Every one is P.O'd that OJ got off.... but he was a convicted
batterer for years  before the murders. If our universities and society
do nothing when these pigs start out on their offense against women, why
should we be surprised when they go on to commit more B.S. anti woman
		I believe I have the right to a safe workplace. It is not possible to
do graduate work in the science without  working nights and weekends in
the lab. I do not want to share space with a known  sexual perpertrator.
This limits my ability to focus on my work.
Beyond this individual pig there is an issue of the U's silence and
	I have been told and I believe that some dept chairs would get rid of
this guy ASAP. There are still to many good old boys and IT Should Not 
Be  Up to the Chair! (and dont we know its a chairMAN) 
		The university has no policy  on this type of thing,  to inform the
students chair, co-workers, etc, it has no suspension policy or anything
else. If I hadnt contactedd the guys dept, no one would have known... We
have a big university police dept,they dont do anything but arrest the
		I have asked what type of crime a student would have to commit for an
automatic response of the university to kick in. There has been no real
	I have heard alot about the perp's rights. Maybe the U is afraid he
would sue them if his career path was  disrupted. I wonder where the
legal rights of women to a hazard free workspace are. Maybe that only
includes hazardous buildings and equiptment...maybe perpetrator men are
just considered to be a hazard no one can do anything about.

The university I am at has made a big deal of having the only university
sponsered battered womens sheltor, called SAFEPLACE. It is sad that the
safeplace is restricted to one shelter!

	I have been a reader of this newsgroup for a long time and hope that
someone will have ideas. I am curious what sort of policy (or lack of
policy) exists in other places. Thanks for a space to rant and get
support.(((another alternative to  crying or breaking something)

OH ....and if anyone is going to the Microscopy Society meetings in
Cleveland.... let me know

Sally Burns

burnssal at pilot.msu.edu

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