Recent incident reports have students on Kent State’s campus on high alert after a man in a red Speedo swimsuit was captured on video touching himself inappropriately on Alpha Phi’s front porch in late September.
The unidentified man made another appearance on Fraternity Circle on Oct. 2, 2019, when he appeared on Alpha Phi and Delta Gamma’s porches. Both appearances were caught on a doorbell camera.
A meeting was held between sorority representatives and Kent Police Department on Thursday, Oct. 3. “It was a meeting to discuss situational awareness and how they can further protect themselves from predators,” Captain Nicholas Shearer of the Kent Police Department said.
“The police said there was a plan in place, but that they couldn’t share all of the information for fear of foiling their operation,” a source said, who has been involved in her sorority for two years.
“They said he has been facetiming a woman every time he has gone to the houses,” she said. “So that threw them off, and they’re trying to figure out who this woman is and what the connection is with the sororities.”
Kent State Police was not present because Fraternity Circle is the city of Kent’s jurisdiction. “That is our jurisdiction, that whole area is technically off-campus,” Shearer said.
The original incident in Fraternity Circle, which sparked media attention and student backlash, occurred on Sept. 23, 2019, after the same man sent direct messages to sorority women over social media.
“We are working on it,” Shearer said. “We have a detective who works on it 40 hours a week.” He said that a video only means so much in an investigation. “We want students to know that we are taking it very seriously.”
The Kent Stater reached out to the presidents of Alpha Phi and Delta Gamma, Panhellenic Council and multiple other fraternity and sorority life organizations, all of which declined to comment.
In an earlier Kent Wired story, the university issued an official statement on the matter. In an email, Eric Mansfield, executive director of university media relations, said, “the university is aware of a man approaching sorority homes in the city of Kent.”
Mansfield said the university is putting the security of students and community members first and are taking reports seriously. The university is continuing to support sororities by providing resources.
Fraternity men on campus have been trying to protect the women on campus and in the sorority houses. Alpha Tau Omega was one of the fraternities to spearhead the ideas of going around at night and checking on the sorority houses.
“There have been offers from the fraternity men to give rides to the women so they don’t feel unsafe,” Ky Kalinowski said in an email. Kalinowski is the community service chair, social media chair and chapter editor for Sigma Chi.
The Interfraternity Council put a stop to plans for neighborhood watch because they were afraid of a run-in with the man, an anonymous source said, who has been involved in fraternity and sorority life for “a couple years.”
“IFC wants to help, they aren’t against it, they’re just thinking about everyone’s safety,” the fraternity member said.
There were various rumors circulating on social media that Kent Police Department told the men in fraternities they are not allowed to patrol or watch over Fraternity Circle because it interferes with the investigation.
“We never said that,” Shearer said. “We would never try to stop students from protecting other people.”
Members of Sigma Chi did their study tables at multiple sorority houses at night the past weeks, according to Kalinowski. “Other fraternities have been standing outside or sitting in their cars just to keep an eye out.”
Fraternity and sorority life is often seen in a negative light, Kalinowski said. The recent events are shining a new light on fraternity and sorority life, however. “All of the fraternities have reached out and offered their support to the women, and it has been great to see,” Kalinowski said.
“Something we want people to know,” Shearer said, “please call us as soon as you know something happened, don’t call the house mom, or the president, please call us.” He said the sooner they know about an incident, the more proactive they can be.
Prior to the incidents in September and October, there was a separate incident where a doorbell camera caught a man fully exposing himself on Fraternity Circle on Aug. 22. This situation preceded reports on social media about a woman in a red hoodie trying to abduct students into sex trafficking.
There are multiple rumors surrounding the woman, saying she is attempting to get into apartments, take people down to a car with two other men or aggressively knocking on doors.
There was another incident that took place Oct. 1, where a woman was exposed from the waist down by Christopher Eugene Clark on the fitness track next to DeWeese Health Center. Clark was arrested for the incident later that day.
Kent State University has security aide and escorts service offered on campus, this service is in operation between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Anyone who needs immediate escort service outside of those hours is encouraged to contact Kent State University Police Department at 330-672-3070.
Contact Samantha Simcox at email@example.com.