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Stalking on College Campuses

by Ali Dimoff and Hannah Zuch

Stalking is a term that has been increasingly used in casual conversations among friends to describe how far social media ‘creeping’ on an ex, or a fellow classmate can go.

According to the Blackburn Center’s online information, “stalking occurs most frequently to young adults between the ages of 18-24.”

Just in the past few years there have been several incidents of stalking on the Pitt-Greensburg campus.

Stalking can take many different forms, which can make it difficult for victims to realize the weight of their situation. The Blackburn Center also states, “One in four victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology.”

Pennsylvania has passed a law against stalking and defines the act as “repeatedly following or committing other acts upon a person with intent to place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, or otherwise cause the person substantial emotional distress,” Blackburn Center.

As defined by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and on the Pitt website, stalking is “repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating another individual using such methods including, but not limited to, telephone, mail, electronic communication, and social media.”

“The University will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or misconduct occurring both on and off campus, and resolve the matter promptly and equitably,” Mary Anne Koleny, the Title IX Liaison, said.

No Contact Order, or a Partial Persona Non Grata, can be put into place by the Dean of Student Services – Rick Fogle – or a representative of him, in which the student must “cease all contact with a designated person or group of persons” by remaining a minimum of 100 feet away from the designated individual or group of individuals. This can also be a done on an interim basis.

The Pitt-Greensburg Student Handbook discusses what disciplinary actions may be taken if a student breaks the No Contact Order.

“Additional disciplinary action may be taken, and he/she will be subject to arrest” according to the Pitt-Greensburg Student Handbook.

If think you, or someone you know may be in need of help, contact the Blackburn Center at their free, confidential hotline available 24/7: 1-888-832-2272.

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