For a second time this academic year, residents at University College have been threatened by a spate of voyeurism, this time paired with a number of room invasions.
On February 17, Campus Police circulated a community alert to University College residents, which read: “On February 16, 2016 an unknown male was observed in the area of resident rooms within Sir Daniel Wilson Residence. The male left the area upon arrival of a community member. The male is described as: Male, Asian, 6’0”, slim build, short black hair, wearing a black peacoat style jacket with buttons down the front, grey hat, black boots.”
During reading week, this individual is believed to have entered a number of residents’ rooms, one of which belonged to Jessica Li.
According to Li: “My friend came to wake me up one morning. She left to brush her teeth and left my room open and then I fell back asleep. When she came back, she saw an unfamiliar Asian guy walk out of my room. She came in and asked me who that was, because she didn’t know that I was asleep and was unaware that someone had entered my room.”
Incidents at Sir Daniel Wilson Residence escalated from room invasions to outright voyeurism, where victims were spied upon while in the shower. “I was showering in the Sir Dan’s bathroom when someone looked into my shower,” said Alice*.
According to Alice: “I finished showering, left my shower caddy outside my door with my keys in it and went and talked to my friend whose room is right across from mine. When I left her room (maybe 5-10 minutes later) my keys and T-card had been removed from my shower caddy.”
On February 23, Oliver Dyment said that he saw someone watching Stacie* while she was showering. “I had just woken up, so I crossed the hall from my room into the bathroom. When I went in I saw a guy, all Smeagol-like, crouched down by the shower door,” Dyment recalled.
Dyment thought that the man was picking something off the floor but realized that he had been looking at Stacie as she showered. When the man noticed Dyment, he allegedly gave “a look of sheer guilt,” then bolted out the door.
“I went out into the hallway, where there were some other people, and we called Campus Police. He met the description of the person from the campus alert last week,” said Dyment.
Melinda Scott, dean of students at University College, said that Campus Police were able to identify the individual accused. As of yet, no charges have been laid in relation to either the room invasions or the voyeurism. Scott noted that they were not aware of any connection between the incidents and the February 17 community alert.
Stacie said that, despite the incidents, she “[considers] the residence to be pretty safe as long as I am careful and aware of my surroundings and remember to close my door even when I’m leaving for a couple of minutes.”
Not everyone involved was able to readjust after the events. Katherine*, the victim of a room invasion, said the incidents took a toll on her, and that she went home for a few days to recuperate. “I needed to feel safe for a little bit, but I still had nightmares for a few nights. Just knowing that someone would break into my room with possibly perverted intentions makes me feel sick,” explained Katherine.
This is not the first time University College has had to deal with instances of voyeurism. Early in fall semester, Toronto Police Services became involved at Whitney Hall where females were being filmed with a phone camera while they were in the shower. The perpetrator in that case was never identified or caught, but there is no indication that these incidents are linked.
Campus Police declined The Varsity’s request for comment.
*Name amended at individual’s request.