The group gathered in front of the Sample Gates for a soapbox-style forum on rape culture at IU and in Bloomington. They marched down Kirkwood Avenue in front of bars in response to a recent reported rape behind Kilroy’s Dunnkirk on August 29.
The group’s flyer claimed an IU Police Department officer witnessed the crime but did not arrest the perpetrator, who walked free.
“The investigation is ongoing, but it’s not as simple as one might think,” IUPD Lt. Craig Munroe said. “The underlying theme of this is consent — whether consent was given.”
According to the police report, an officer came across the alleged victim and perpetrator in an alleyway. No arrests have been made at this time.
“I understand the concern that people have, and, if you look at it and you don’t have all the facts, then it’s very easy to think something is amiss,” Munroe said. “I can tell you that not all the facts are out in the public yet because it is an ongoing investigation, and that’s probably what’s causing the confusion.”
At 11 p.m. the rally blocked traffic in front of Kilroy’s on Kirkwood with protesters yelling “Yes means yes, no means no.”
IU doctoral candidate Shadia Siliman joined the rally holding a handmade sign outside KOK. Siliman’s dissertation is on rape culture.
“I’m alarmed by the rape culture at IU and I’m joining this group of people ready to do something about it,” Siliman said. “I’m invested in doing something about it.”
The rally targeted the University’s “institutionalized complacency in and perpetuation of rape culture in Bloomington.” The group cited the University’s Title IX investigation, the dismissal of an IUPD officer and rapes that have already been reported this semester.
The Department of Education’s compliance review began March 12, 2014. The DOE requested 33 different counts of documentation in relation to Title IX complaints, according to documents obtained by the Indiana Daily Student. The results of the investigation are still pending.
IU sophomore Kristen Pimley stood in front of the crowd and spoke about her personal experiences with street harassment and sexual assault.
“We need to fight back and not only teach women how to protect themselves but teach the people who do rape that this is not okay and it will not be tolerated and they will be punished,” Pimley said.
There have been four reported rapes this semester, three of which occurred in residence halls, according to the IUPD’s daily crime log. The most recent were the alleged rapes of two minors during Labor Day weekend at McNutt Quad.
“Indiana University has gone beyond being complicit to being aggressors in rape culture with their newest policy — police patrols in the dorms,” according to the rally flyer.
The police cadet program in which part-time student officers live in residence halls is not new, Munroe said. The program has been in place for nearly 30 years.
Last April, a part-time officer was accused and suspended on sexual assault charges against a student. The IUPD officer resigned.