This story was updated at 7:45 p.m.
The Oregon State University Department of Public Safety issued an alert email shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday notifying students and community members that an individual appeared to be recording unsolicited videos of women on campus. The email described an individual walking a silver blue mountain bike and appearing to use a cell phone to record.
DPS was notified earlier that day by two members of the OSU community that numerous videos of women walking on campus had been uploaded to an internet porn site.
According to Steve Clark, vice president of university relations and marketing, there are over 50 videos on the site, recorded over the course of several weeks. There are no recognizable faces or names in these videos, because all of the subjects were viewed from behind.
“We felt that it was very important to notify the university community, to be aware of this practice occurring, and to be aware of their surroundings at any individual who may appear to be recording unsolicited photos or videos,” Clark said. “Meanwhile, I would say, this remains a very safe campus, and one of the ways we are safe is by having effective law enforcement and public safety on campus, and by informing our community of issues that may prompt concern and a response.”
Clark said that the university’s first step was to inform the community. The second is to encourage the university community to be aware, to be safe and to share any information they may have with DPS. The third step is to control awareness on campus. DPS will continue to monitor the situation, according to Clark.
The Oregon State Police and the city of Corvallis are aware of the situation. DPS and the Oregon State Police are handling the on-campus investigation, Clark said.
“We have to be mindful that it is not illegal to take pictures on campus, but it is inappropriate to be taking photos of members of the community and placing them on an internet porn site,” Clark said. “Placing photos on the web is not illegal. Inappropriate behavior that puts members of the community at risk can be a student conduct matter, if this is a student, but we don’t know that it is.”
If the individual uploading videos is identified, an investigation would be carried out to determine whether or not that person is an OSU student, and subject to consequences under the university’s Student Code of Conduct, or referral to county law enforcement.
Students and community members are advised to call the DPS non-emergency line at 541-737-3010 with any information related to this matter, and not to engage with any individuals taking unsolicited recordings.