The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Three students face discipline for videotaping, harassing women


Three City College students face disciplinary action for female harassment after filming and uploading footage of campus pranks online.

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the odd behavior of the group “whatever” gained attention of a staff member on West Campus.

“Harassment on campus is anytime a person feels uncomfortable or unsafe because another person is bothering them,” said Erik Fricke, director of campus security.

The Standards of Student Conduct states that repeatedly following another person, or acts that annoy a student, are considered harassment.

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For the pranks, one individual with a small microphone attached, approached a random girl and repeatedly asked her goofy questions, while two men hide in the distance with a camera video recording the girl’s reactions. When the girl attempts to leave, the man follows and continues to ask questions. The footage is posted on YouTube, a video sharing website that is known for its silly videos.

“He told me there was a spider on my back,” said City College student Sydney Brunner, a victim to one of the pranks. “I wasn’t freaking out, because I figured he was joking with me.”

It is believed the group is not getting everyone’s permission to film. Without a signed waiver or permission, the use of the person’s voice or image can be deemed a violation of that person’s right of privacy. A release is necessary if you make a video and put it on YouTube or elsewhere online.

“I suspect that they are not getting everyone’s permission in the film. When you watch the video, some of the people walk away and yet there still using that footage,” said Fricke.

In California, consent of the parties must be given before recording any conversation. The California Penal Code 632 declares it is illegal to record someone without his or her knowledge.

The group records the pranks and silly questions with the intent to entertain viewers. The short videos are committed with the intent to incite laughter, not damage. The group has been pranking since Oct. 2012 and the pranks are filmed at City College, UCSB and State Street. There most popular video, ‘Will You Be My Valentine?’ has 225,394 views.

“There are students here that do not feel comfortable having the footage online,” said Fricke.

Reactions to the videos have been mixed. Some say the videos are just a good-natured prank, while others say it’s a form of harassment and embarrassing for the victims.

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