On-campus harassment seen as isolated incident

by Kelli Herzberg

After a harassment case and a security breech in Kresge Hall, students still feel safe on campus.

“Harassment is not a big problem here on campus,” freshman Krista Durnin said. “But there’s always going to be those one or two people who are going to push the limits.”

Charles Allen, 18, also known as Lyndon, was charged with administering harmful substances, burglary and breaking and entering, simple assault and intimidation and harassment after two separate incidents on Sept. 18 and 19.

According to the certificate of probable cause obtained from the Indianola Police Department, an 18-year-old female Kresge resident was studying in the hallway outside her room Sept. 18 when Allen approached her and put his crotch in her face. The Kresge resident told Allen to stop but he continued, and then assaulted her in a more explicit manner. She was able to get up and go to another room. As she did so, Allen allegedly verbally attacked her by yelling, “Come here I wanna shit in your mouth.”

Allen allegedly continued to harass the student, calling her names and threatening her. After this alleged confrontation, Allen took a notebook containing students’ room combinations from the Community Advisor’s room and found the alleged victim’s combination. Later he tried to gain access to the her room on multiple occasions.

On Sept. 19, after the Kresge resident left her room, Allen allegedly told his roommate he was going to do something to her now that she was gone and he had her room combination. Allen took a water bottle which contained what he first said was semen, but later claimed was lotion, into the woman’s room. Allen then used the combination to open her door at least three times.

Because Allen had access to all of the combinations of the rooms in Kresge South, first floor, all of the combinations had to be changed. Durnin, whose combination had to be changed, and freshman Caleb Anliker, who also lives in Kresge, agree that changing the combinations was the right course of action.

“[Lyndon] had the combinations to everything,” Durnin said. “Everybody should have the ability to feel secure. In all reality, I never thought he would go so far as he did.”

Anliker said it wasn’t right for someone to know the combinations.

“He knew the locks,” Anliker said. “It would have been an invasion of privacy for somebody to know the combinations.”

Freshman Jayson Wicker, Allen’s roommate in Kresge, said changing the combinations was a good move, but he doesn’t think it was actually a huge security threat.

“I don’t think Lyndon would have violated any one else’s privacy,” Wicker said. “I’m pretty sure it was just a practical joke that was aimed at a specific person.”

One thing is for sure, all three students are glad the college changed the combinations to keep students safe.

“If no action had been taken to prevent something like this from happening again, then I would have been upset,” Durnin said. “However, the college took appropriate measures to make sure we’re safe.”

Simpson College has a specific policy on sexual harassment. According to the Campus Regulations and Safety Guidelines, when a person is the victim of sexual harassment, the person is supposed to file a report immediately. Staff members from Residence Life, Student Development or the Security Office will work with the victim to make the report to local law enforcement.

Durnin believes the college took too long to make the initial move, even after the report had been filed. Anliker and Wicker both believe the Indianola Police Department shouldn’t have been as involved.

“I feel the Indianola police took too extreme of measures,” Wicker said. “The situation was taken out of context and mushroomed into something bigger. I think the college should have played a more active role.”

Overall though, all three students seem satisfied with security here at Simpson.

“Security does a good job,” Anliker said. “They are always driving around keeping people safe and in line.”

Members of Simpson security, residence life and the alleged victim declined to be interviewed for this story.