Can you watch porn in the Howe Library?

The+last+reported+incident+of+a+man+watching+porn+on+a+Howe+Library+computer+was+Nov.+12.+The+students+who+reported+the+incident+felt+uncomfortable+with+the+situation.%0A
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Can you watch porn in the Howe Library?

The last reported incident of a man watching porn on a Howe Library computer was Nov. 12. The students who reported the incident felt uncomfortable with the situation.

The last reported incident of a man watching porn on a Howe Library computer was Nov. 12. The students who reported the incident felt uncomfortable with the situation.

Photo Illustration by STEPHAN TOLJAN

The last reported incident of a man watching porn on a Howe Library computer was Nov. 12. The students who reported the incident felt uncomfortable with the situation.

Photo Illustration by STEPHAN TOLJAN

Photo Illustration by STEPHAN TOLJAN

The last reported incident of a man watching porn on a Howe Library computer was Nov. 12. The students who reported the incident felt uncomfortable with the situation.

Julianne Lesch, Cynic News Reporter

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A man watching what some have described as porn in the library left students feeling uncomfortable and confused about how the situation was handled.

On Nov. 12, two students in Howe Library saw a man watching what they thought was porn on a UVM computer.

The students approached a library employee saying they felt uncomfortable, Dean of Libraries Bryn Geffert said.

Though Geffert was not involved with this situation, he  said he heard from his colleagues that everything was resolved.

When asked if the Howe Library has a specific policy against watching porn in the library, Geffert did not directly respond.

“Like most academic libraries, we do not attempt to define the term ‘pornography,’” he said.

Junior Gretchen Saveson was one of the students who saw an older man watching porn on a computer in the Multimedia Lab, she said.

Saveson and a friend were working on a project in the lab when they both realized a man was watching porn, Saveson said.

“We immediately felt uncomfortable,” Saveson said. “The library is a place where you should be able to focus and feel safe, and I think having people watching porn in the library ruins both of those functions of the library.”

Both students approached the Multimedia Desk to report the man.

A group of library employees then approached the man, with one worker asking him if he was “watching naked people in here,” Saveson said.

The man replied that he was not watching naked people, he was just watching something his friend had sent him, she said.     

The man was then told by an employee that he could not watch anything with naked people in it, Saveson said.

The employees then left the room, with the man working on other work and then shortly leaving.

One employee then reentered the lab, once to ask Saveson if the man had left and then again to ask if what the man was watching was motion or stills, Saveson said.

Saveson said she wished more would have been done, like asking the individual to leave.

“The man wasn’t told to leave or to stop watching porn per say,” Saveson said. “It would have been nice to see real action taken.”

Saveson felt as if the issue was inconclusive, as she still has a lot of questions about the handling of the situation, she said.

“It seems weird that porn can be permissible in the library when loud music and whispers kinda aren’t,” Saveson said. “It just seems like an imbalance there.”

Incidents similar to this are not common, Geffert said.

“It has not happened on my watch before, and some of the colleagues who have been around here tell me that it’s very infrequent and in fact have had trouble remembering any other instances,” Geffert said.

Sophomore Nicole Evans said she would be shocked if she saw someone watching porn in the library.

“Don’t they know that everyone can see you watching something you should watch when you’re alone?” she said.