Beauty by Numbers

DUBUQUE, IA – There has been an issue causing quite a bit of controversy on the Loras College campus this week.

In an anonymous open letter to The Lorian, a student stated that on Monday, March 10, a group of men were rating women in the cafeteria by holding up numbered signs as they walked by.

The anonymous student was not only the author of the article, but she was also the victim of being rated. “We knew it was going to happen,” she said. “They were going to ignore us or they were going to rate us. And I was hoping to God that they would just ignore us.”

The Lorian letter caused upset throughout campus from both students and faculty. One senior student, Patricia Ochs, was upset enough to create an online petition in response to the event.

The boys should write a letter of apology to the school because they broke the harassment code and they made people feel bad about themselves. And that’s the sole purpose of the petition,” she said.

As of March 20th, over 230 members of the student body, faculty, and alumni have signed the petition. To find it online, head to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/600/190/571/a-number-is-not-acceptable/.

The anonymous student was appreciative to see an online petition started and all the support it garnered for the girls that were rated. “It feels like we’re being heard. I think just The Lorian isn’t enough when it comes to an issue like this.”

However, some were not in support of the petition and questioned its accurateness. One of the men identified as being involved, who chose to remain anonymous, responded to the petition with the following statement:

“This petition is nonsense for several reasons. First of all, the men in question only ‘ranked’ people they were friends with, not random people in the cafe. In addition, they were ‘ranking’ both men and women, finally, the only numbers they actually had were 7-10, and the only people who received less than a 10 were males that we KNEW and were joking with. I guarantee the maker of this petition was not ‘ranked’ in such a cruel manner as she described, and I also am willing to bet that not ONE of the signatures on this petition is from a person who was “ranked,” because those being ranked were friends of the alleged misogynists and understood the joke.

Yes it is truly bullying to rank every single person a 10 aside from myself and another of my male ‘friends’ (because apparently you can judge their relationships like that not knowing them or the situation). The men in question were trying to do something nice for true beauty week by giving people students {sic} ten out of ten ratings but were bombarded with all of this {sic} unnecessary comments. I know for a fact that they are not bullies and that they don’t allow bullying. There was also no incident of “sexual discrimination” because both male and females were involved. I hope this can be resolved quickly because it has been blown way out of proportion.”

Student Life was made aware of the incident and understands the reaction from those in support of the petition.

Dr. Art Sunleaf, Dean of Students, said, “Ranking a student is, whether it’s maybe well-intended, is not a good thing to do.”

However, the task of handling this multifaceted issue in a fair manner is easier said than done. Dr. Sunleaf went on to say, “We have a lot of he said she said this group that group versus what’s the real information through there, and how do we handle that?”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Dr. Art Sunleaf at arthur.sunleaf@loras.edu or go to mysafecampus.com. Reports can be filed anonymously.

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