Harassment directed towards Mac students

By Katie Havranek

Macalester students have received two notifications concerning incidents of harassment on campus from Dean of Students Jim Hoppe. Since the last email on April 10, four more incidents were reported, bringing the total to 14 occurrences.”The incidents are similar but not identical,” Hoppe said. Eggs were involved in some and not in others, the cars were similar in only some of the drive-bys, and the offenders have been both male and female.

“We couldn’t say with certainty that there’s a profile,” Hoppe elaborated.

After the first two incidents were reported, Hoppe sent out the first email in hopes of both raising awareness and encouraging students to come forward with similar experiences.

Hoppe said that raising awareness increases students’ ability to focus on the details for more helpful reporting. Students were able to record license plate numbers after two of the incidents.

“It’s not uncommon to have reports throughout the year but the number of incidents have been more concentrated,” Hoppe said.

Though there have been more recorded incidents at Macalester than other colleges in the area, Hoppe is unconvinced that Macalester students are being targeted.

“Four incidents have happened far enough away from Macalester on Snelling in between here and St. Thomas that it is hard to know if Mac students are the target,” Hoppe said. He speculated that younger people might be the target.

Awareness created by email alerts are the reason Macalester students reported more incidents than students at other colleges in the surrounding area, Hoppe suggested. “I think awareness helps people make reports,” he said.

Macalester administrators have spoken to the police and have another meeting planned in the upcoming days. The police have not given Macalester much conclusive information as of yet.

“It is easy to downplay if there is only one event, but we are seeing a pattern and we are thankful to the people who have brought the incidents to our attention,” Hoppe said.

Macalester plans to raise awareness in hopes of finding a connection between the perpetrators to stop the incidents. ” It is helpful to know all situations and the quicker the more likely we are able to address it,” Hoppe said.

“I saw some kids throwing a paint can at Mac students and then getting out of their car and picking it up and doing it again and then one of my friends got hit in the elbow,” Stephen Davis ’11 said, “I shouldn’t have to be worried about getting hit with a paint can or anything when I’m crossing the boulvard-it’s ridiculous.