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Catcalling incident in residence halls

What happened

On September 17, 2022, a resident reported to her RA that they had experienced a catcalling incident earlier in the month. On September 7, the female resident and her roommates were returning to their room when about six male residents passed them in the hall and catcalled them. Specifically, the resident said the boys whistled at them and called the girls demeaning gender-based names such as “Playboy bunnies.”

What is being done

The incident has been reported to the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA the Housing and Residential Education and Office of the Dean of Students Conduct teams, as well as the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team.

If, through the course of some review or investigation (by the OEO/AA or other appropriate investigative body), the individuals involved are confirmed to have engaged in conduct violating university policy, the Office of the Dean of Students and/or Housing and Residential Education or other appropriate leader, will act within university policy designed to hold the individual(s) accountable and, if appropriate, provide education about the harm caused to the community by this type of behavior – even in the absence of a finding of policy violation.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you see someone engaging in offensive, demeaning, or disruptive behavior in common areas or other shared spaces on campus, and if you feel safe doing so, intervene, or report it to a nearby official.

Stopping this type of behavior takes collective action, and bystander intervention efforts are one way of combatting such conduct that causes real harm. To learn more about how to incorporate bystander intervention into your toolkit, check out the information here: https://wellness.utah.edu/workshops-training/#bystander.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or https://diversity.utah.edu/our-team/. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form.

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

Acts like this cause harm to students’ and other community members’ sense of belonging in a time when we are returning to a place of in-person connectedness, and some are feeling especially vulnerable. We are still striving to ensure that all our staff, students, trainees, faculty and other community members are able to find a place of safety and belonging as a part of our campus community, and have the space to explore, express and celebrate their various identities.

We will continue to name the biased acts, investigate, and hold the perpetrators of these harmful acts accountable when they are identified. Additionally, we will continue efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities and enhance a sense of belonging on our campus. 

Support and resources

If you have been harmed by this or other incidents, counseling and support services are available from several entities on campus:

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.