University Police should be commended for its successful sting operation, barring from campus individuals who were caught soliciting sex in the Marvin Center men’s bathrooms. Sex in public places is unacceptable, and GW is taking steps to end the situation on campus.
Twenty men were caught in the two-week sting operation. They will be permanently barred from campus, and rightfully so.
More importantly, warnings about the Marvin Center bathrooms have been posted on www.cruisingforsex.com, a Web site that lists public bathrooms for the purpose of gay sexual encounters. Hopefully, the warnings will deter future occurrences of sexual activity in the Marvin Center bathrooms and elsewhere on campus.
If the problem persists, possible solutions should be considered. Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student Academic and Support Services, said that Marvin Center bathrooms might become only accessible with a GWorld card. This could pose a hassle for students, but the benefits of keeping the bathrooms safe from outsiders far outweigh the burdens.
Gargano said that student and staff monitoring and bathroom attendants are also options. These steps would be a bit extreme, as direct student involvement could pose greater problems.
Actions have been taken to alleviate the problem of sex in GW bathrooms. Cameras have already been installed at the entrances to all the bathrooms at the Marvin Center. Marvin Center management staff and UPD also monitor the bathrooms regularly. Both modes of dealing with the situation are disquieting, but necessary for the welfare of the GW community.
GW needs to continue enforcing its zero-tolerance policy on sex in campus bathrooms.