University of Chicago Students Protest After Campus Hackers Make Rape Threats

By Jon Graef in News on Sep 28, 2014 8:30PM

Editor's note: this story deals with threat of rape and sexual assault. Please consider this a trigger warning in regards to these subjects.

Nearly 200 University of Chicago students marched this past Wednesday—and plan to march again this coming Friday, Oct. 3.—after a campus hacking group posted a threat of sexual assault toward university students.

The threat was reportedly in response to a list posted on Tumblr of University of Chicago students alleged to have committed varying degrees of sexual violence.

Here's what the Chicago Maroon, the University of Chicago campus newspaper said about the first "Hyde Park List."

The Hyde Park List named six current and former male students, and labeled each as “code red” or “code orange,” with red as “the most severe offenders,” according to the site. One student’s entry included, “Note: Often at fraternity parties.” The Tumblr, which states that it was created by “concerned citizens,” purports to “[keep] the community safe—since the University won’t.”

According to WGN, a campus organizer organized the protest in mere hours, after the hacker group, known as the UEA, or UChicago Electronic Army, hacked into campus websites and posted the name of a student activist and sexual assault survivor who UEA alleges originally posted the first student list.

That list, of students accused of committing sexual assault, drew national attention, including from Jezebel, who posted the screengrabs of both posts.

The University of Chicago, along with many other colleges, is under investigation for how it handles sexual assault complaints.

The Maroon reports that the author of the first Hyde Park List wrote that the reason the post was made was because "The University has failed to protect the community, sexual assault is historically deeply underreported, and we have failed as a campus to have a real and serious conversation about sexual assault on campus, even after the Title IX investigation.”

The list "does not intend to accuse students of sexual violence, but rather intends to provide warnings," according to the Maroon. The blog plans to allow accused students to respond through a private Google document accessible only through a university email account.

The University of Chicago released a statement to WBEZ, saying, "The University is committed to sustaining a academic community in which all members are welcome to participate freely and fully. Part of that is owning and defending one's ideas. Anonymous accusations and commentary do not live up to those values and undermine full participation."

You can listen to WBEZ host Tony Sarabia read the university's statement, and interview a campus activist, below:

A follow-up protest is planned for Oct. 3rd.

Click here for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's (RAINN) sexual assault hotline.