An anonymous individual claiming to be a University of Michigan student posted a PSA earlier in December warning of a man harassing and stalking East and Southeast Asian students on campus.
The PSA, posted on Medium on Dec. 6 with the title “Predator fetishizing and targeting East Asian women at the University of Michigan,” noted that the alleged predator is a Computer Science sophomore at the university. He is described as a white man with dark hair and glasses, while a Reddit source reportedly claimed the man is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
According to the poster, the man would send private messages to his targets pretending to be someone who shares a class with them. He would also allegedly stalk the female students inside and in front of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library (UgLi) and at South U and Fishbowl.
The man would sometimes approach women in the library’s study room and ask if they are using it, even when it was clear they were, to strike up a conversation, according to the poster. He would also call women on their phones randomly and would proceed to call them again using different numbers after getting blocked.
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“This is very abnormal behavior and should be taken seriously,” the anonymous poster said. “He specifically and methodically employs multiple STRATEGIES to manipulate East Asian women into spending time with him.”
Later in the report, the poster said the incident was already reported to the university’s Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS). The poster added that some people had already reached out to them to share their experiences.
Professors in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Department wrote a joint statement to University Provost Laurie McCauley and Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon to address the issue on Sunday after the report became widely circulated in the university.
In the email, tenured and tenure-track professors noted that some of their students had approached them asking for advice on how to stay safe amid the incident, The Michigan Daily reported.
“Our students have expressed distress about an undergraduate student who is harassing Asian American women on campus,” the professors wrote in the email. “Asian American female students in our classes have shared with us that they do not feel safe and they do not know where to turn for help.”
Responding to the email on Monday, Harmon said they are now in communication with McCauley, the DPSS and the Dean of Students Office regarding the situation. Harmon noted, “Once we have additional information we will get back to you and the members of the group.”
Deputy Chief of Police at the University Police Department Melissa Overton informed The Michigan Daily that the DPSS had received multiple reports pertaining to the stalking and harassing incidents but concluded through an investigation that no crimes had been committed. Overton further noted that the authorities had already identified the individual.