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“Cup Holder Note Incident” Concludes
[ Issue 158 Page 4 ] Monday, November 27, 2017, 15:46:44 Hyoyeon Kim Staff Reporter hyoyokim@kaist.ac.kr

On October 16, the Undergraduate Student Council (USC) announced that the perpetrator of the “Cup Holder Note Incident” had been apprehended. Since early October, the USC received repeated reports of an unidentified man, presumed to be an outsider, handing out notes written on paper cup holders to female students around the school. The notes consisted of romantic phrases and song lyrics; they were either handed directly to the students on the streets, or left on pencil cases in the Undergraduate Branch Library (N10).

Because of the case’s gender-specific targeting and potential as a verbal sexual harassment case, the USC classified it to be of severe threat to the student community. From the similar nature of all reported cases, it was deduced that there was a single culprit behind the occurrences. In order to prevent its recurrence, the USC consulted with the Safety and Security Team and the campus police to inspect the CCTV records in the student library. Based on the confirmed features and the incident reports from students, the campus police and the student-spaces staff carried out periodic patrols in the area. Furthermore, it was requested that students immediately notify the USC and the Security Team upon occurrence of similar incidences so that the campus police could be immediately dispatched.

With these efforts, the campus police were soon able to capture the unidentified offender in the student library. The USC had the apprehended man write a police report on his actions and the motivations behind them. According to the report, the man was indeed an outsider, and his reason for distributing the notes was to “give them to female students [he] found attractive and receive feedback later on”. The report made it clear that this incident targeted a specific gender and that there was ample room for verbal sexual harassment in it. The man was handed over to his guardian after information on specific circumstances and personal details was collected.

This is not the first time the student library has suffered from outsider-related incidents. There has been a similar case two years ago, as well as several intermittent theft cases in between. The USC has proposed several measures to prevent future incidents. For the incident on hand, it has been agreed to have the man immediately handed over to the police if he were to return to KAIST and hand out notes. A response manual for these cases will be distributed to students, and a communication system will be set up so that individual students can communicate directly with the Safety Team and campus police. The USC exhorts students to not open doors for strangers in buildings like the student library where student cards are necessary for entrance.

The USC’s immediate response to the threat and the active cooperation of students made possible the rapid resolution of the case. The USC promised to continue to do all it can to ensure that students can live and study in a safe environment.

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