The University Police began placing the names of sex offenders who attend USF on its Web site last week. Only two names are currently on it, but those who read the article about the new measure in FridayÃs Oracle were probably curious enough to see who the offenders were. This law is a violation of student privacy with no just cause. Because no one other than the offenders and those involved in the case know the circumstances behind the conviction and subsequent labeling, the university should not be forced to give their names and ultimately, their addresses to the public.
Sgt. Mike Klingebiel said in FridayÃs edition of The Oracle that the law will keep students and faculty aware of the dangers they could face while on campus. Sgt. Klingebiel is right: it will keep those on the St. Petersburg and Tampa campuses aware of the one sex-offender they might, possibly, but doubtfully encounter in their years at USF.
But what about the other possible criminals on campus? Why donÃt they have to register with the UP? If Suzie, who sits next to you in class, has been arrested for pick-pocketing nine times, youÃll never know it, and one day when your Palm Pilot is missing, youÃll be more likely to accuse your roommate than Suzie. If other criminals donÃt have to register, sex offenders shouldnÃt have to either; because it is blatant discrimination.
Also, if people on campus are worried about being sexually assaulted, they should note that according to U.S. Justice Dept. statistics, 66 percent of adult sexual assault victims know their attackers. So, chances are you should be more worried about people you do know than trying to stay away from these two offenders.
This is not to say that rape and sexual assault are the fault of the victim or that being labeled as a sexual predator isnÃt a big deal. But even if an individual has committed an act that we, as a society, feel is unjust, it does not give us the authority to take away their right to privacy or their right to get their life back on track.