By Kris Cabulong
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 2, 2004
Question: What's the story with the signs that used to be in the library?
- Tim Spencer, masters student in accounting
They read, "The Library has received several complaints about solicitation and sex acts being performed in this restroom. For the record, it is inappropriate and ILLEGAL to use University restrooms for sexual activities or solicitation. Such actions will be reported to UAPD for the appropriate disposition..."
They were placed in 1998, and while sexual offenders, usually creepy men in their 30s and 40s, have since taken a licking, they seem to keep on swinging (so to speak).
The signs were placed on the 2nd through 5th floors to dissuade certain promiscuous, lascivious acts that conservatives would call "non-traditional," or "homosexual intercourse." Though signs have been ripped from the walls, replaced and then stolen again through the years, Director of Facilities Planning and Management Jim Fromm said, "Since the incidents that led to placement of the signs are no longer prevalent, we are not planning to replace the signs at this time."
So there's less of that going on. However, in a 2002 Wildcat article titled "Masturbation a library concern," Nate Buchik wrote, "Flashers, masturbators and other sexual perpetrators have been coming to the Main Library to test out pickup lines, pleasure themselves and expose their genitalia for years."
And Sgt. Mejia recently told me that despite new informative programs and security measures, these problems have been occurring up through the present at a fairly steady rate. Mejia suggests a more proactive response from victims.
"The important factor of crimes of this nature is that we need first-hand information from the victims. Often times, the victims report it, but don't want to prosecute," he said.
"Even if we can identify the offender, if there's no victim, there's no crime," he said.
But if you aren't too keen on being a victim in the first place, my advice is to stay off the fourth floor. A quick Web search revealed 10 references to events occurring on the fourth floor, ranging from podiphillic-masturbation (don't ever accept offers from greasy foot artists) to a guy talking to his mother about his plans for premeditated murder.
Put into perspective, however, with over 800,000 visitors to the Main Library in the past year, there have been only 322 police responses, said Fromm. So it's pretty safe; just be self-aware, or at the very least, wear shoes.
- Detective Kris Cabulongcatcalls@wildcat.arizona.edu