PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several people have reported that a man was either filming or peeking into bathroom stalls in Portland State University buildings.
PSU officials said the Campus Public Safety Office is investigating at least four bathroom incidents and one non-bathroom incident since late January.
The first incident happened at the Smith Center on Jan. 26. A student reported a man using a gold iPhone filmed them in the 4th-floor gender-neutral bathroom at about 3 p.m. The suspect was a thin white man, around 5-foot-6 wearing a bright red coat and brown beanie.
On Feb. 1, a student employee at the Academic Student Recreation Center reported a person filming them in the stall of the first-floor women’s bathroom around 2:15 p.m. The man was holding a black and gold Android phone over the stall. When the victim yelled at him, he ran away. He was a white man wearing a white shirt and dark pants.
On Feb. 5, a student reported a man holding a gold iPhone under the stall of a 4th-floor bathroom in the Smith Center around 12:30 p.m.
On Feb. 2, a person reported a man looking into the stall, watching them in the lobby bathroom in Ondine Residence Hall. The suspect was not a student but was excluded from the building.
Another filming incident happened on Feb. 15 at Cramer Hall, not in a bathroom. A student reported a man filming them while walking through the building. He was white, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 with light and dark grey hair, wearing a light grey rain jacket, green shirt and blue jeans with an analog watch, possibly with a brown leather strap.
Officials did not say whether campus security believes the same suspect is involved in these cases.
A few students told KOIN 6 they hadn’t heard about these incidents and were concerned.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had something happen and the school doesn’t immediately notify us,” sophomore Seanna Coffman said. “I heard from my roommate and even my dad called me and I haven’t heard it from the school, which is really sad on their part. We pay a lot of money here and they can’t even have the decency to let us know that something dangerous is happening to us.”
Coffman said she doesn’t blame the school or expect them to find the culprit, but officials should be notifying students so they can be safe.
“An email would’ve been nice or something? Just cause that’s a big invasion of privacy,” sophomore Ava Meisel said. “Since January?”
Sophomore Kristen O’Handley said it’s “super creepy” and with so many people on campus, it’s hard to know who’s a student and who isn’t.
She said maybe more campus security officers would be good.
“We’re kinda in the city so there’s always city crime, and there’s really crazy things that happen out here,” student Cameron Smith said. “We have a lot of homeless people up and down the streets.”
PSU officials are warning people to be vigilant of their surroundings and report suspicious behavior to Campus Public Safety or 911.
Campus officials released the following statement about the issue:
The safety, wellbeing and privacy of PSU students, faculty and staff are our top priority. In light of several reports of students who may have been videotaped or photographed in bathrooms and other places at Smith Memorial Student Union, Cramer Hall, Ondine Residence Hall and the Academic and Student Recreation Center, PSU Campus Public Safety officers have increased their presence in these areas. We are asking the PSU Community for their increased vigilance of suspicious activity and to report them immediately. Anyone with information is asked to called CPSO at 503-725-4407.
Officials have not responded to KOIN 6 News questions about why students were not notified earlier but the information was shared on social media and the public safety website Tuesday.
The University of Portland and Oregon State University said they have not had any similar incidents this year.