School officials are mystified as to why a year-long series of lewd acts on campus, including teenagers having sex in a bathroom stall and a man watching pornography in the Cyber Center, has occurred.
The number of instances in this calendar year have reached abnormal levels with what City College usually sees, according to reports.
“It seems like once a semester we get some sort of type of lewd behavior,” Security Director Erik Fricke said. But still, he does not believe there is a trend towards sexual conduct on campus.
Campus security discovered two students, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, sharing the same stall on Feb. 26 in the men’s room on the first floor of the Occupational Education Building.
A staff member called security reporting suspicious activity occurring in the first floor bathroom.
“They were seen further by the staff person in (the same stall) with two pairs of feet with their shoes off,” Fricke said.
When security arrived to the men’s bathroom, the door was locked with the couple inside. Security unlocked the door and questioned the girl about why she was in the men’s bathroom. The girl told the security officer that she was only using the restroom, unaware that it was the men’s, according to the report.
The office told the girl that security received a call about two people in one stall. The girl then admitted to participating in promiscuous behavior.
While the students’ ages were exceptional, security usually finds incidents of consensual sex on campus once of twice a semester, Fricke said. This is usually during security’s graveyard shift, and the couples are found in vehicles.
Marion Shapiro, instructor of the Psychology of Human Sexuality classes at City College, speculates that the people involved in these lewd acts could be classified as exhibitionists, which is considered atypical behavior according to psychologists who research sexual behavior.
“They want the attention,” Shapiro said. “They want to see that they’ve really shocked people, maybe even to think about it later during masturbation.”
This incident came about two weeks after a former student was caught watching Japanese pornography while touching himself in the Cyber Center, and only five weeks into the semester.
Shapiro said that scientists consider masturbation to be typical sexual behavior, combining it with exhibitionism is not. However, it is not considered to be “perverted,” she said.
Campus security also reported indecency incidents during the fall semester. A man was reported masturbating on West Campus in October, and the following month, two men were reported having sex in the bushes next to the stairway leading up from Cliff Drive.
Since Spring 2009, there have also been arrests made for sexual conduct.
The first was a 29-year-old man who had been arrested for indecent exposure after flashing on numerous occasions. The second arrest in the spring was a middle-aged man who was masturbating in the parking lot outside La Playa Stadium with a Barely Legal magazine, moisturizer and a box of tissues.
As sexual situations increase, students should protect themselves by using the security contact boxes on campus. There have been a number of reports of students, typically women, being stalked or targets of unwanted attention this past semester.
“The main thing is that women realize right away that any unwanted attention that they need to report it,” Fricke said. “To let it continue on and on just gives a greater opportunity for them to be harassed further.”
There are many City College classes devoted to sex education. All of them have been in high demand, even before the number of credit classes offered began to shrink.
The rate of promiscuity at City College has already been on the rise. According to an American College Health Administration survey conducted in 2008, more than 82 percent of City College students surveyed claimed to have at least one sexual partner within a 12-month period.
The same survey determined that the national average was two-thirds of all college students had at least one partner per year.
Fricke said each case of lewd act is evaluated differently when it comes to disciplinary action, but the common standard is that if there is exposure, police are brought into the situation.
“It depends on the egregiousness of it,” Dr. Ben Partee, who oversees the office of student conduct, said. “It could be a letter of reprimand to an expulsion.”
He said in some cases it is a suspension that, while not requiring the approval of the board of trustees like an expulsion, stops the offender from enrolling in classes as well as entering either the main campuses or any Continuing Ed facilities.
Partee said the rate of lewd act occurrences also depends on whether or not witnesses report them to campus security.
“It depends if the students are getting more and more bold or receptive to what is happening,” he said.