Testimony #8

“It was always consensual but it didn’t occur to me until the protests began that there was something deeply, deeply wrong with what he was doing. I was a freshman and vulnerable, and he was a junior at the time. He gave me so much attention, even texted me throughout the next day, and we hooked up twice. I never let him do anything I didn’t want to do, and he obliged. The second night we hooked up, I remember him telling me, “Don’t tell anyone, okay, I don’t want there to be rumors.” I was confused about this because I had only been at Princeton for two months and he was nowhere near my immediate social circle. A few days later I found out from a friend that he had a, how do we say, predisposition for girls with my racial background, and that he was known to be incredibly predatory toward this group. Since then, every time I saw him in person my body would go into complete shock and I am, to this day, so, so embarrassed that we were ever involved. At Terrace one night, he sees me and I refuse to talk to him, and he gets angry and asks me, “Why are you being so disrespectful to me?” In my sophomore year, he became a CA leader and we were placed in the same region, so we had to go through a week of training together. That’s about 6 hours a day together in close proximity, sharing information about ourselves. I was completely distressed. He kept finding opportunities to talk to me, and I refused. Once, he literally tried to offer me candy during a training session. At a pregame after CA, he tried to talk to me and get my attention, and when I wouldn’t budge, I walked around the entire room and he started to follow me. But how do you even confront someone like that? What do you even do about this? I told a close friend about it, and she said if I still felt uncomfortable, we could talk to SHARE. But what would they have done about it? It wasn’t clearly harassment, and the times we hooked up were totally consensual. By our current policies, he did not do anything explicitly wrong; he was just creepy. But my fear and discomfort are real and potent and still here — he lives in town and occasionally makes an appearance on campus. I don’t even know what kind of protocols could be put in place for something like this. I am so incredibly sensitive about power dynamics between older and younger students and was very protective of my frosh during frosh week. All I know is that institutions uphold and neglect policies and protocols which create environments that discourage or enable this kind of behavior.. Princeton is certainly not unique but change begins somewhere and begins at home. ”

— Anonymous Princeton Undergraduate Student