PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland State University campus security officers are warning students of several incidents in which someone filmed people in bathrooms on campus.
Security issued a warning saying there have been four reports of a man recording people in bathroom stalls and one report of a man following someone with a camera.
“You want to feel safe at college, we're paying to go here, and we want to have a safe environment to, you know, use the bathroom and that's not happening, so that's not OK,” said PSU senior Mimi Leggett when she heard about the incidents.
This is not the first time in Portland police have investigated hidden cameras in bathrooms, but now it is happening on PSU’s campus.
“It's disturbing and it's just something I hope we don't see more of, but it probably is happening,” said PSU junior Patrick Hanson.
The first incident happened at the end of January in the Smith Center. A student said a man used his cellphone to take video of them while they were in the gender neutral bathroom on the fourth floor.
Then on Feb. 1, a student employee caught a man videotaping her in the women's bathroom at the Academic Student Recreation Center. The student said the man held his phone over the stall partition. She then yelled at him and he ran away.
It happened again the following day at Ondine Residence Hall. Campus security received reports of a man looking through the stall, watching people in the lobby restroom.
Then on Feb. 5, another student noticed someone holding a phone under the stall at the Smith Center, which is where the first incident was reported.
“That's definitely not very welcomed when you're in a very private moment, doing your private business, that's not welcome in that kind of place,” explained PSU Junior Sarah Habib, who is concerned about the incidents.
The last reported incident happened on Feb. 15. This time though, a student said a man filmed them while they were walking through Cramer Hall.
Until the person responsible is caught, students say they will be on alert.
“I'll definitely be more aware of like people in bathrooms and stuff,” Hanson said.
“I think just being more aware of your surroundings, which I think as women you're already told to do, but you know just being more alert and looking out for other people,” Leggett said.
Security only has a vague description of the suspect. Victims described him as a white man with a proportionate build, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-10.
Some students expressed frustration the warning only went out as an alert on the PSU public safety website, and only after more than a month since the first reported incident.
PSU on Tuesday issued the following statement, which was also posted on their social media channels.
“The safety, well-being 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.”