Earlier this month, sightings of a student watching pornography in the lower level of the Marvin Library spread from campus chatter to social media.
According to witnesses, the student commonly attends the library between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Zach Mallard, business administration student, reported one incident on Mar. 10. “He sat there and watched a [pornographic] video for 30 seconds and then went back to playing Runescape,” said Mallard, who posted two photos of the student alternating between Runescape and pornography on Twitter the same day.
A Facebook video posted on Mar. 2 around 10:30 a.m. captured the student browsing through videos on Youporn, a pornographic video sharing site, in the Computer Learning Center. Behind the Youporn window was a Runescape map, which he started playing after watching several seconds of a woman stimulating herself with a sex toy.
“[Afterwards] it was on Snapchat, it was everywhere,” Aran Hooty, individual studies student, said. Hooty claims to have witnessed the same student watching porn in the campus center on Mar. 10.
“He watches pornos and if you say something to him, he starts watching anime. It’s pretty weird,” said Keith Stovall, human services student, said he asked the student what he was watching and he immediately jumped to a different tab.
“He looks around and everybody’s looking at him and just keeps going,” said Emily Ammon, entrepreneurship student, who reportedly caught the student watching porn near the Computer Learning Center three weeks ago.
Jamaal Jenkins, liberal arts student, confirmed that the unidentified person who watched pornography in the library attends Hudson Valley. “I have my 8 a.m. class with him and it’s pretty weird now,” he said.
According to the school’s computer use policy, explicit material deemed objectionable is prohibited if it is electronically transmitted, posted through the college’s network or violates conduct deemed in campus regulations under Article 5.2 of the campus Judicial System. Sandra McCarthy, coordinator of the college’s Judicial System, said the act can be deemed an offense subject to an investigation by the college, possibly resulting in disciplinary actions that can range depending on the severity of the case.
Watching pornographic material can be considered sexual harassment, according to Alexander Popovics, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Development. “Whether you intended it or not to be offensive to somebody else, if they come into contact with it, because you are viewing it, that could be something that I would address,” he said.
Last Tuesday, policies and programming pursuant to the campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) were passed by the Board of Trustees. The meeting also approved modifications to the college’s anti-discrimination and harassment policies as well as the complaint procedure. “It would be considered harassing if a woman were to walk by and see that,” McCarthy said about students watching porn on Hudson Valley computers.
Popovics said that investigations involving students viewing offensive material on Hudson Valley computers have occurred in the past but have been minimal.