Hall of Shame:JHU
- 1 1995
- 2 2005
- 3 2006
- 4 2007
- 5 2009
- 6 2010
- 7 2011
- 8 2012
- 9 2013
- 10 2015
- 11 2016
- 12 2018
In those dark days before WiFi and iTunes, music had to exist on physical discs. The DJs forgot to bring Don McLean to the first dance. Long-time students were furious; long-time staff were embarrassed.
At JHU Session 1 2005, there was a doofus who was prank calling Clark AMR 2 dorm at 2:00 a.m., pretending to be the pizza guy, insurance company, et cetera. Two roommates pretended to be KGB operatives to the prank caller(s) and the calls ended.
Cross-Dressing Deemed Offensive
At JHU 2006 Session 1 and 2, cross dressing day was canceled by the administration (Edit: AMY) because it was allegedly "offensive" to "real cross-dressers" and homosexuals. A few CTYers attempted to cross dress, but were sent back into their dorms during breakfast to change. Despite the ethics class' attempt to reschedule Cross-dressing Day on a later date through a petition and the administration's supposed consent, no cross dressing day ever took place. This has been called a CTY SIN. As of 2007 additional reasons for banning drag day have been provided. According to the RPA, a father of one of the female CTYers showed up, saw his daughter walking around in boys clothes, got the completely wrong idea and threatened to take her out of the program before someone explained to him what was going on. In addition, parents of male CTYers were none too pleased to see their sons walking around in miniskirts. Unfortunately, due to these few closed minded individuals, this activity has been banned. It seems like the JHU administration is more easily swayed by parental complaints than other sites as many of the evens on this list were inspired by parents.
Alcohol Found in Boys' Dorms
At JHU 2006 Session 1, over $1000 worth of empty alcoholic drink bottles were found above the ceiling tiles. The alcohol was apparently left over from previous residents. Although nobody was responsible for this, the dorms were still searched.
Max Koren's update: I was there session 2 in 2005, and saw the bottles there because I was hiding someone's shoes in the ceiling. I guess I didn't care because I didn't tell anyone. Not on purpose, I just didn't think it was very important or whatever.
The Youth+Service girls of JHU 06 Session 1, on one of their many field trips, picked up a free copy of Metro Weekly, Baltimore's GLBT magazine, without the knowledge of instructor Tre. Upon further examination in line for lunch (that you had to wait in forever because of the meal cards), they found a provocative ad for an "All Male, All Nude" gay cowboy calendar.
They proceeded to cut out the pictures and displayed them not-so-discreetly on their lanyards.
No admin confrontation resulted, but cries of disbelief were heard from both their RA and TA, as well as other students.
Additional Study Hall Added
At JHU 2007 Session 1, a single parent complained that their child didn't have a full day of class on the last Thursday, so the CTY staff decided to add an additional study hall from 3:15 to 5:15 on the last Thursday in place of activities. They failed to mention this adjustment to the teachers until they had made all their lesson plans, so most classes ended up watching a vaguely class-related movie. This policy carried over to second session as well.
Elliah's update: Oh yes, I remember this. We (crafting the essay C) watched the Princess Bride as our T.A (Leigh, LT for Carlisle kids) just yelled at the admins on the phone. They shortened the dance as well, that's important to note. The dance was only hours, rather than two hours 45 min.
More Alcohol Found in Boys' Dorms
At JHU 2007 Session 1, about ten bottles of empty alcoholic drinks were found in the ceiling tiles in one room in Pasha's hall. These drinks were found when it became "cool" to sit on top of your dresser for fun. I had first gotten up on my dresser and promptly hit my head on a ceiling panel and I heard a clinking noise. I pushed up the tile and saw a bottle. I proceeded to remove the tile and about 10 glass bottles fell on top of me and onto the floor. The day when this happened was Pasha's day off, so I collected all the bottles and brought them to Devin, who thought that these were my bottles. After much explaining and all of Pasha and Devin's halls coming to see the bottles, Devin called the SRA. The next day we were told that some people were going to come by and check all the panels in all the rooms in Pasha's hall during our classes, and that some of our stuff may be moved. This incident quickly spread across the JHU campus and became very well known.
No More Sleepovers
At JHU 2007 Session 2, sleepovers were banned due to conflicting policies. JHU policy bans moving mattresses, while CTY policy bans students from sleeping on anything but their own mattress. People slept over anyways. It is unclear how many people actually slept over, but it is fairly certain that illegal sleepovers occurred in just about every hall. Only the final Saturday evening were students actually busted by RAs for sleeping-over.
For more information on surviving illegal sleepovers without getting caught, see Illegal sleepover.
Devin's Hall Gets Pwned!
Jesse's Hall, Pasha's Hall, Devin's Hall, you know what I'm talking about! Devin's Hall challenged Jesse's Hall to a football game; at stake was a hoard of CTY bills valid for the auction. The losing team, Devin's Hall, refused to pay up.
What followed was all-out pwnage of Devin's Hall during the following Social Time. First came the pieing. Jesse's Hall, the Czak Republic, gathered whipped cream into dozens of styrofoam plates. With the help of a sympathetic Pasha's Hall, RA and SRA approval, warfare commenced in the courtyard outside Devin's Hall, with Pasha and Jesse's fighters springing out from the doors and surrounding the members of Devin's team (who were also there with pies). Devin was hit in the face and stomach, as were many members of his hall. Almost all of the CTYers out for Social Time gathered to watch Devin's humiliation. Pasha and Jesse triumphed, victors over the defeated Devin.
But the war was not yet over. A treaty, mediated by SRA Jim, was drawn up, but Pasha's Hall had one more trick to pull. Pasha and his hall had bought the Mystery Prize #2 at the CTY auction, which turned out to be an extra 30 minutes before lights out. At exactly 10:42 PM, Pasha's Hall, all dressed in black to mimic ninja garb, snuck into neighboring Devin's Hall with a hoard of toilet paper and duct tape. First, one brave member ventured forth to put duct tape over all the peepholes. Then, the TPing commenced; toilet paper was strung all over the doors, doorknobs, walls, and ceilings. Pictures were taken and sent to Devin's Hall the next day, because JHU policy would not allow the evidence to sit overnight. Pasha and his troupe returned to their hall, brimming with the sweet feeling of victory.
Misplaying and/or Lack of Canon
All of the Dances at JHU 09.1 were devoid of canon. While American Pie was played at all three, it was nearly botched due to the timing of the slideshow. Between the first and third dance, maybe a minute of Stairway to Heaven was played. The reason for this was because a breakdance song (Apache by the Incredible Bongo Band) went overtime and thus Stairway to Heaven was cut out during the first dance. Pretty much no other Canon songs were played. However, this is not abnormal for Baltimore, as most RAs at 2009 were neither RAs from the previous year (who had all graduated out) nor former CTYers themselves, and thus were unfamiliar with the concept of Canon.
Four students were expelled from the CTY program for two separate incidents. In the second week, two popular CTY students were excused from the program for writing an offensive note about a fellow CTYer. Their teacher confiscated the note and handed it over to to the Dean. The day following their expulsions, many CTYers wore all black in mourning.
The following expulsions were of two more popular CTY campers during the third week. They were expelled after trying to make a flamethrower using a lighter and a can of AXE Body Spray in a dorm room during a sleepover. They left the site only a day before the session ended. Along with the two campers expelled for the incident, four others, who were also at the sleepover, were put on probation for the last dance. One of the students was toasted by a student at Passionfruit the next morning. It should also be noted that their flamethrower idea led to an unofficial rule made by RA Craig: "Please Please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DO NOT make flamethrowers, okay?"
On the third Tuesday the residents of AMR II (the boys) were woken up at 5:00 am to an unpleasant surprise. Unknown to them at the time, the recent storm had flooded the electrical room, causing the power in both AMR I and AMR II to be turned off. The boys were evacuated to the reading room in AMR I due to the possibility of an electrical fire and told to sleep. Eventually, the boys were taken to Remsen, where they watched part of "The Karate Kid." Later, the boys were given five minutes to go into their dorms and change before class.
The girls were woken up at about 7:00 AM. The lights in AMR I, did not work but that was the only noticeable change the girls experienced. Girls then had to go to breakfast with their halls.
Before class, the site director called everyone onto the Gentle Slope and explained the entire situation. They power in AMR I and AMR II was back when students returned from class before activities
The view of a girl: Actually, we were all woken up pretty early, maybe 5:30, by Tom saying, "Meet your RAs at your poles" and some machine that kept whirring pretty loudly. And of course, boys aren't exactly quiet, especially if they're being evacuated at 5 in the morning. Girls had no power, and limited water as well.
On the first RA Day Away at JHU 10.2, the majority of halls signed up to go see Inception... all at the same movie theater. The result was a severe overcrowding of the screening room, to the point that some girls in Rachel and Kate's halls had to sit in the floor.
Over 180 dollars was stolen from Eric's hall, resulting all his boys to be interrogated for over 5 hours a day and making half the hall miss half the 2nd dance. To this day no one knows who stole the money.
One boy in WRIT.A from Daren's hall wrote a paper with erotic writings for a laugh in the dorm. Somehow, it was found by the dean. The story had been written in the dorm and the boys of WRIT.A as well as REAS were sent to the Dean. Most spent a couple of hours talking to the dean, but some spent over 7, resulting in them missing the first dance. Some were innocent while others were put on strict probation and one student was suspended for a day.
Stolen Salt and Pepper Shakers
At the end of the first week of CTY, SRAs Raughley and Molly and site director Bobby called everyone together on the Gentle Slope. They announced that 141 salt and pepper shakers had been stolen from the Fresh Foods Cafe. How the perpetrator managed to do this remains unknown. The sheer number of logistical challenges posed by smuggling such an excessive quantity of salt and pepper shakers out of a crowded cafeteria seemed to point to the possibility that the suspect was not acting alone.
After chuckles from the students and warnings of "It's not funny" from a few RAs (some of whom were struggling to keep from laughing as they said it), they announced that unless the salt and pepper shakers were returned by the next day, they would take away all the remaining shakers from the cafe. They also hinted that some privileges - such as dances or weekend events - could be retracted if the behavior continued, but fortunately for everyone this threat was never realized.
After a painful condiment-free week, salt and pepper shakers started turning up on a few tables. This may have been a result of other camps eating in the cafe, not as a result of returned shakers. The culprit was never found by any members of the administration, and as of the end of 11.1 the fate of the 141 salt and pepper shakers remains a mystery.
Between 11.1 and 11.2, all of the shakers were removed, and 11.2 had to suffer through condiment-free food.
Boys Bathroom Defacing
At the same time as the salt and pepper shaker incident, it was found that someone had torn the paper towel dispenser off the wall in the boy's bathroom in the cafeteria. It was also found that people were leaving huge messes on the floors and leaving paper towels everywhere. Due to this, the boy's bathroom in the cafeteria was marked as off-limits for the remainder of the session. If a boy wanted to use the bathroom, they would have to exit the cafeteria and head over to AMR II. At the opening ceremonies for 11.2, students were warned that "bathrooms are a privilege."
Cursing During The Talent Show
During the Talent Show of CTY, one popular CTY student was planning to rap on stage. However, due to lack of practice and unfinished rehearsal, he ended up forgetting the lyrics to the first verse. As he rapped, he said "I'll just rap from the 2nd verse." After few seconds of the 2nd verse, he forgot the lyrics again and dropped an F-bomb through the microphone. He was sent off stage immediately. Almost the whole auditorium was still cheering for him even after he was sent off the stage.
Within the first two days of Session 2 2011 three students were sent home. One of the students was unfairly charged by site director Andrea and Counselor Gabby. This is WAR.
One study hall, a creepy old man intimidated students in the boys bathroom by the Creative Nonfiction class. It is alleged he said to one boy "Are you enjoying going to the restroom?" The next day, the rule was that students had to always be accompanied by a teacher or TA to the bathroom and could only go at breaks. This created many awkward situations where the teacher and TA were of the same gender and female TAs or instructors had to accompany boys to the bathroom, and vice versa.
Lack of Talent Show
Due to about ten people signing up for the Talent Show weekly activity, the JHU 2012.2 Talent Show was canceled. Instead, Second Sunday became Ultimate Kickback Day, where students could hang out in the dorms or on the Gentle Slope.
Two students were expelled for posting CTY-I images on their hallmates' Facebook profile. Another student was unfairly put on probation for being in the same room and not reporting it.
Loss of Canon
Canon this year was extremely limited. Dean Raughley justified this by saying that newer songs were more inclusive. As a result, 13.2's Empress of the Passionfruit and Goddess of BLAMMO are trying to finalize a Canon list that will appease both staff and students.
Strange remixes of songs were played at the second dance due to the DJs using a pirated music site. American Pie was also cut short.
On July 16, Corey's hall was about to go to dinner when the fire alarm went off. Later, the site administrators reported to Corey's hall that their fire alarm was the one that had been pulled. But when it went off, most of the hall was next to the fire alarm so it was probably an accident. Nevertheless, Corey and Cody castigated and threatened the hall. The perpetrator, intentional or otherwise, has not been caught to this day.
The speakers at 15.1 were absolutely trash and extremely muffled. Hence when American Pie played, it was barely heard. Many clueless twelve year olds made their own circle, breaking up the big circle and nobody knew when to run in and out. This resulted in everyone sprinting into the middle several times and one girl fell, hitting her head, and was then stepped on. It was so bad that in a hall meeting before the final dance, RAs had to clarify officially when to clap, run and kick.Thankfully, the final American Pie was better.
The Dances of 15.2
Two of the three dances of 15.2 were outside in front of AMRI. The first time was because there was a wedding in the Glass Pav. A few college students came up and joined, which lead to SRA Richard walking furiously over to them. (It was kinda funny.) Also, they put the music on shuffle and American Pie came up about 20 min in. It was quickly shut off. People kept getting confused during American Pie and walking back out at random times.
Everyone hated the dances and the RAs and SRAs promised it wouldn't happen again. It did. The next Friday, RAs informed CTYers that Johns Hopkins had double booked them and they would have the dance outside again. It was as disastrous as the first time. Thankfully, the last dance was in the Glass Pavilion. (I'm pretty sure the nevermores would've been outraged if it wasn't.)
In 16.1, Baltimoreans were told BLAMMO was cancelled by program manager for ALL sites due to it being too violent and that it caused too many problems. This was met with skepticism by many, and it was soon discovered that BLAMMO was running at all other sites. RAs were quick to respond that BLAMMO that occurred at these sites were illegal. However, a whistleblowing RA soon confirmed to certain students that Blammo was, in fact, only cancelled at the JHU site. The rumor that it was cancelled at all sites was merely meant to pacify the students.
In 16.2, BLAMMO was still cancelled, and protests opposing this decision were held by students all over campus. These protests involved students attaching plastic spoons to their lanyards and/or holding plastic spoons (without actually playing BLAMMO).
Kudos to Noah from Markus's hall as well as Ho Ching from Peter's hall for starting this, with the supposed BLAMMO goddess (Cat Brown) supplying a majority of these spoons.
During 16.2, there were an exceptional amount of average students. Many of them, unfortunately, coming from Markus' hallway; students included Timothy, William aka Liam aka Will aka Billy aka Bill, and especially Martin. However, none of them could compare to Mario the RA, who was known as "Super Average" by most of the campers.
American Pie PT.2
During 16.2, the excessive number of squirrels at the site led to a misunderstanding and complete mocking of American Pie at three out of the four dances. Kids would run in early, kick with the left foot first, trampling others in the mosh pit (it once got to a point where 15 people where knocked over and stepped on) and people heard squirrels talking about how American Pie was stupid. This led to the RAs thinking about making everyone sit down and listen to the song during the last dance, but thankfully, everyone cleaned up their act.
During 18.1, a kid whose name will not be revealed would constantly make objectifying statements about women, hit on random girls, and piss everyone off. Eventually, everyone in his class grew to hate him and roast him whenever they could. Known as Spider-Man because his roommate hated him so much he managed to convince Spider-Man that he fed him spiders every night after he went to sleep.
During 18.2, there was way too much rain. During the second week,
- One evening session was moved from 7-9 to 8:00 - 9:30 due to lightning
- Another evening session was released at 10:19 instead of 9:00, again due to lightning. ASTR.A took this as an opportunity to have an impromptu Magic School Bus appreciation session. ASTR.B did the same, but with Starcrash
- The third dance started an hour late and dinner was at 7:00 PM instead of 5:30. This was due to lightning.
- It was raining before the fourth dance but it wasn't rescheduled
- Dani, Naomi, and Barton from Linguistics sang Dear Evan Hansen songs during the rain delay
- A ceiling tile in a room on the second floor of AMR1 got too wet and fell onto a desk. It pretty much exploded, leaving bits of insulation almost to the door with bigger pieces lying on the desk. The CTYers living in the room had to relocate to friends' rooms for a night.
- The basement of the Glass Pavilion flooded
As mentioned before, a ceiling tile in AMR I fell and exploded, leaving bits of damp insulation and ceiling stuff almost to the door. Even at the end of the session, there was still a hole in the ceiling and a recycling bin under the hole. The occupants of the room had to sleep over in friends' rooms for a night and took a picture of the tile. It was posted to social media after the session ended.
Around 40 bottles of a diverse selection of alcohol were also found in the ceiling of one of the dorms. SRA Cindy lined them all up on top of a closet to take a picture to show her friends, and then had to throw them all away. In the removal process, the room ended up being covered in plaster. It was never vacuumed.
Numerous hairy-looking flat-ish bugs with way too many legs could be found all over the place in AMR I. One of the halls in 18.1 especially had a problem with this because members of the hall often took grilled cheese sandwiches from the FFC for later and just left them in the open air. Isabella L. once chased one all around her room and had to kill another one at a hallmate's request a few days later. A dead beetle was left in the lobby of AMR I Royce for more than two weeks, and a wasp was spotted and then promptly drowned by bug spray in one of the rooms, and allegedly seen in another. Multiple attempts by other creepy crawlies to infiltrate the rooms were busted by CTYers.
Another hall (in AMR II?) had an entire chocolate cake hidden in the ceiling. It is unknown whether or not it attracted many bugs.
A mouse was discovered in the room of a girl in Mikayla's hall in AMR I. The occupants were worried about accidentally getting caught or injured on the mousetraps that were installed in their room after the rodent had been found.
Half of a light cover fell off on the first floor of AMR I Royce. RA Peace called campus security, but nothing was done about it. Even though the girls living in the room were in RA Sarah's hall, when Sarah came into the room, she played with it for a bit and just left it there. By the end of the session it still hadn't been fixed.
18.2 Administration Incompetence
18.2 had a lot of problems: most either created by the administration or worsened by them. Students, in particular the Princess of the Blood, were targeted by the Dean of Residential life, and the administration as a whole failed to deal with an unsafe classroom environment, bullying, and sexual harassment.
The Targeting of a Student
The Princess of the Blood had come to the session along with the Empress, intending to spread traditions across Baltimore. At some point before Drag Day/Gender Bender Day, Nick, the Dean of Residential Life, asked the Princess of the Blood what name she would prefer. She had initially advocated for Drag Day over Gender Bender day since it was the original name at JHU. Nick also mentioned the name Cross Dress day, but the Princess had only named Drag Day as her preferred name since Cross Dress Day has an implication of a binary gender system, and the Princess as well as many RAs and students wanted to avoid that. Despite this, Nick informed the RAs that the students had preferred Cross Dress Day when asked.
When the hall meeting agenda came out that evening, it referred to this spirit day as Cross Dress Day and used the phrase "opposite gender" multiple times. It also included a section on "Why this spirit day is questionable" and questioned who this spirit day was showing solidarity to as the administration allowed students to wear whatever they wanted.
The Princess scheduled a meeting to discuss this with the site director and the DRL (Nick). She was given the excuse that the terms "Cross Dress Day" and "opposite gender" came from even higher up and were universal at CTY, despite telling her the previous day that she had a say, and despite other sites not using those terms. The conversation was, overall, not a productive one, and preceded Nick singling out the Princess on multiple other occasions.
A few days later, he saw her and a friend without an RA. She apologized, but was later pulled aside during social time to have a conversation while her friend was not talked to in any way.
This wouldn't have been so significant if it weren't a repeated incident, but there was another far worse incident the next week. The Princess was with her hall, filling out evaluations, so there was no RA near the group. She was discussing the difficulty she had had with traditions throughout the session and said, "Next year, at my final Passionfruit speech of my final session, I'm going to end it with 'I love CTY, I love the Passionfruit, and fuck the admin.'" Her hall laughed and agreed with this.
A few seconds later, Nick appeared, asking who had made that comment. The Princess owned up to it and apologized, but Nick said the entire hall would have a conversation with him later.
15 minutes later, the Princess was pulled down to a one-on-one meeting with Nick. By this time, the Princess was rather upset and, given previous events, felt targeted, so she asked Nick if she could have an RA present for the conversation. He said no, claiming the meeting would be short. She then requested that the academic counselor be present. He again said no.
He offered to let her talk to the academic counselor after the meeting, and she originally said no. He then told her that she would be meeting with him and the site director the following morning during breakfast (not her whole hall, as he had initially said). It is unclear why it was necessary to pull the Princess down to his office to tell her just this, especially since one-on-one meetings are frowned upon by CTY and might be deemed intimidating.
The Princess, crying, asked if she could have an RA present for the breakfast meeting, stating that she didn't feel comfortable speaking her mind since she felt targeted. Nick said no, claiming this was not protocol for a disciplinary meeting. It is important to note that for a disciplinary meeting to take place, the reason must be a transgression. Although the Princess had stated an opinion Nick did not like, the only thing she had actually done against CTY rules was to swear.
The Princess then asked if she could have the academic counselor present, and Nick responded with "maybe." After this, she did go speak to the academic counselor. She explained the situation, and the academic counselor made it clear that she was likely not going to do anything about it. She asked the Princess about her ideas on how to deal with the situation, and the Princess responded by saying that if Nick could not make fair, unbiased decisions about punishments, then perhaps the decisions should be less subjective so Nick and the other administrators could have a standard to hold themselves to. Her response was that although that could perhaps work, not all students could have the same punishment as some students have special educational needs. This was not the subject that was brought up and was not directly relevant to the Princess' situation. This meeting was ultimately not productive and the breakfast meeting was still on for the next day.
It began rather badly, with the Princess stating that she did not feel that it was a safe space for her to express her opinions as Nick was a grown man in a position of power, targeting a 15-year-old. She asked again for an RA to be present, and despite multiple requests, neither an RA nor the academic counselor was present. An SRA was allowed in, but this did not help much, especially since Nick is her direct boss. The meeting was ultimately not productive.
It is not commonplace at CTY for hours to be spent on disciplinary meetings for profanity, in fact, I doubt it has ever happened aside from this situation. This is made far more upsetting by the fact that, at this same time, multiple reports were given to the admin of sexual harassment, bullying, and violent behavior in a classroom, and the administration was claiming that they did not have enough time to deal with them. In short, this targeting of a student was hardly close to the worst of the problems presented by the Baltimore administration in 18.2.
Failure to Deal With an Unsafe Classroom Environment and Sexual Harassment
For this section, the story is told by the girl who came forward about sexual harassment. It has been edited only so that it does not contain names or any identifying factors of any of the students or RAs involved. The administrators' names are still present. All quotes are in the exact wording.
This is a detailed account of a situation that had arisen at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer program at the Johns Hopkins site, session two of this summer. This event shows a mishandling of a situation by the administration. This situation revealed flaws with the administration in the way they handled it, and I believe it should not go unnoticed. Note: all quotes are direct quotes with exact wording. I often took out my phone in meetings, during events, and directly after events to record the exact wording that people used.
On Sunday, July 29th, during night class, a student began to inappropriately touch me continuously due to multiple layers of issues that were taking place in class. The touching had escalated from Sunday, and continued to get worse throughout Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Prior to this, this particular student was taking unsolicited photographs of me and my friends, with me typically as the focal point. This touching began as rubbing of arms and legs non-consensually and escalated to grabbing my leg and pulling me towards him. This happened as he asked me to take a photo with him, which I declined. He was asking my friend to take said photo, as she was calmly explaining that I was clearly uncomfortable with it. Given that I was sitting on the ground and he came to sit uncomfortably close to me, I attempted to move away, which resulted in him grabbing my leg to pull me closer to him fairly aggressively. This occurred on Wednesday night. In addition, multiple areas of my body were grabbed (forearm, lower torso, upper torso) and called “fat”.
I first mentioned the situation to two of my friends, during our Wednesday afternoon break. However, I didn’t fully stress how uncomfortable I was until Wednesday night. That night, I finally expressed the high level of uncomfortability I was feeling to a number of my friends, my RA and her Co-RA. After the ball had gotten rolling with expressing our fear of another student in our class who had displayed violent behavior including shouting at another student, stating that he punched walls as practice for people, and showing violent mood swings, we really opened up about all the things that were going on in class to our RAs when we had gotten back from class, at around 10pm. When I finally mentioned that I was severely uncomfortable with the leaning/touching/grabbing that was occurring, I realized that the other girls had noticed how odd it was as well, and very much agreed that the situation should be dealt with. Later that night, we went into our first set of meetings that lasted until around 1 am. The conversations that were held that night were solely for factual purposes, and we talked to Nick (DRL) first, around 12 AM, then Katie (Academic counselor) and Jackie (Site director) around 1 AM. We were told that these conversations were solely for gathering facts. One important thing to note from this conversation was that Jackie and Katie both asked us to pick the biggest issue and only discuss that. However, every issue we were expressing was contributing to the many layers of issues and were all against the honor code. It was hard to look at someone who is exhibiting serious outbursts of violence, a sexual harasser, and a bully and attempt to choose the worst one. Additionally, at this time another girl, had just been having conversations for openly saying in her hall (prior to this whole situation) “f*ck the admin”. While this was unrelated, we were told that we were going to be having a meeting with Jackie at breakfast Thursday morning about our problem, and so was this student about her situation. When this student brought this up at the 1 AM meeting with Jackie, Jackie said “we will juggle them”. The fact that she would suggest that a meeting about one girl cursing about the administration, and reports of sexual harassment, bullying, and a kid with violent tendencies and outbursts were at a level similar enough that they could be juggled was shocking.
The next day, we were taken to class for an hour, the hour of 10 AM to 11 AM, and told to feel comfortable since Logan, an SRA, was going to sit in on class with us. At this time, we were told that it was possible that both students would be returning to class around lunch time, possibly later. However, “lunch” could have been anywhere from 11:30 to 12:40 given that our class ate lunch at a different time every day. This caused me and my friends to have intense anxiety during this hour. Every time the door to the building opened, I felt like I couldn’t breathe because I wasn’t sure who was walking in. Additionally, we were scared of two people that were taken out of class, yet only had one person put in place to protect us. During break, we expressed our high anxiety to Logan the SRA, and were not given any answers. And he said multiple things that invalidated our experiences. After repeatedly telling us to “stay strong” even though this shouldn’t have been an issue we had to deal with, we were also told to “remember that there were other students at this camp” by Logan. This specific quote really shows the invalidation I was referring to. To my knowledge, the other students at the camp, were not dealing with the same set of problems that we were. In line with this, we were told that either Logan or someone part of administration would be going to class with us on Friday, which did not happen.
The deflection of blame became a recurring theme throughout every meeting I had, whether it was with Nick the DRL, an SRA, or even Jackie and Shawn. Blame of poor decisions was consistently being placed on unnamed, faceless higher-ups that were seemingly unreachable and untouchable. One of the finest examples of this was Jackie and her inverted triangle explanation. She was having a meeting with the girls in my class, and I in our hall at 12 AM on Thursday night after many requests on our part to talk to her and address questions that were being left unanswered. She made a triangle with her hands and told us she was at the top of the site, then inverted the triangle upside-down and explained that everything was happening higher than her, and she is at the bottom of an unreachable triangle of people. The problem I had with this, and the problem that all of the girls were also struggling with, was that we were requesting both answers and actions, and understood that she might not be the one who was going to deliver them. However, we still thought that she would be willing to act as a link to these faceless higher ups, but she did not attempt to do so. Every time we requested an action to be taken, all people deflected the blame off of themselves, and it quickly became a huge frustration that the blame was being put on people that we couldn’t contact. They made no attempt to make us feel like they were defending/standing by us, despite them being the ones physically with us, and the higher ups were merely reading notes and not talking to the people who were being directly affected, us.
Another severe example of deflection was that, for the entire morning, afternoon, and mid evening of Thursday, all decisions were being blamed on a Title Nine coordinator. When asking Katie for a reason why decisions regarding the guys were taking so long, I was told that there was only one person that decides all disciplinary actions taken on all sexual harassment and racism cases, and that only that one person can do anything. The fact that this one person never attempted to contact me or anyone in my hall personally was saddening, because I think that their decision on the student who had sexually harassed me going to the dance would’ve been different if they took the time to talk to us, rather than just reading notes that various staff members had written down. I also requested the phone number/contact information of this person from both Nick the DRL and Cindy the SRA. Cindy had walked away planning on returning with this information and never did, so my RA ended up being the one to look it up and give it to me.
Language choice that continuously did not help the situation was also a portion of the problem. During a one on one with Katie on Thursday, in which she had told me Logan was going to be accompanying us to class that day, she continuously used the quotes “I want you to feel like we believe you” and “I want you to feel like I hear your opinion” which did not help the situation. Feeling like someone hearing my opinion/feeling like someone believes me are not the same as someone actually listening to my opinion and believing me. It was this sort of language that made me feel completely invalidated. On top of this, the constant and seemingly non-stop use of the word “conversation” was ridiculous. Every meeting that was being held was being called a conversation. Apparently, we were only having “conversations” about the situation, and hardly any actions were taken. The excessive use of this word.
The situation with the Final Dance on Thursday night is another mishandling completely. Within my one-on-one with Katie, I was told that a request had been filed for both threatening students to not be at the dance. However, Katie had had a one-on-one with my roommate, in which she had expressed that she hadn’t filed any requests yet for such a thing. There was no time that she would have had between our two meetings to file that request, given that she walked my roommate back to the dorm and I then approached her to have my meeting. When I was told in my no-contact meeting that both boys were currently allowed to be at the dance, I expressed my extreme concern for the situation and told them that I did not think that it was a good idea. Instead of being understanding, Jackie and Lauren (SRA) blamed a higher up power than themselves for the decision and explained that there was nothing that they could do.
Having the student who harassed me at the Final Dance was terrible, to say the least. Before the final dance, we asked Nick to explain what was and wasn’t a distance between us that was allowed and define the radius within which he wasn’t allowed. Nick gave no answers to this question. After asking him multiple times to clarify what the correct distance was, he finally said that “we could run through hypotheticals all night” despite the fact that the student who harassed me was going to the dance and it was not hypothetical. The RAs ended up having to join forces to define the line that couldn’t be crossed. This was not something that the RAs should’ve had to do. Despite the RAs' intense support and protection, it was still an unsafe environment. Having the RAs rally and join forces to protect us was amazing, but it was not supposed to be their job to decide where to draw the lines and how to protect us. These decisions should’ve been made for them. The students of another class were willing to do whatever it takes and banded together to help us in our situation as well because they knew that we were vulnerable at this time. Also, being restricted to only half of the room after doing nothing wrong just because a Title 9 coordinator that I never got the chance to speak with decided that the student who harassed me could go to the dance was unfair.
During the final dance, I had received word that the student who harassed me had been accused of touching another girl inappropriately. As one would imagine, I was very angry that, after specifically asking multiple members of administration (Both SRA Cindy and SRA Lauren, Jackie the site director, Katie, and Nick the DRL), the harasser was allowed back at the dance and proceeded to continue the behavior I had warned all these members of administration that he was doing. In this anger, friends of mine and I all had a heated conversation with Logan the SRA in a hallway that separate a room with many kids in it and the room that had the harasser and a few other kids in it and the girls bathroom in between. Honestly, all three of us were yelling, and in my opinion, it was rightfully so. One of my friends was expressing how the way they were handling the situation only amplified and perpetuated rape culture, another of my friends and I were expressing how we told them this would happen and that it did. In this heated conversation, Logan had told us to “trust the system” which only made the entire situation worse. Both my friend and I promptly expressed that this was the same system that let us down in my situation, and that there was no way that we could trust the system after seeing the system allow him back into the dance. After we walked away from this heated conversation, Logan the SRA asked an RA that was nearby during this, if she really thought us yelling was the best way for us to express ourselves at this time. Rightfully, I was notified that she responded “yes”.
Additionally, the No-Contact order was just another example of a mistake. We were told that it would be a disciplinary measure, but based off of the Johns Hopkins website, it explains that the No-Contact order falls under a way to protect the victim, not a way to punish the accused. Moreover, the No-Contact order has been repeatedly violated throughout Thursday night and Friday, during the day and night. A specific quote from the No-Contact order states, “***** and ***** have been directed to refrain from contacting you… through other persons.” [The names blacked out were those of the students harassing and threatening.] That was violated multiple times throughout the day, since the harasser’s closest friend at the site, had been Snapchatting, Instagram messaging, and WeChat-ing me, asking about either the harassers hat or about why I came forward. Each time, I blocked the friend on the particular social media he had reached out on, and each time he found a new social media to use. Additionally, there was a direct violation of the No-contact order on Friday at 12:14 over Facebook Messenger. At this time, I had not been signed out of camp, and to my knowledge he was in the shuttle going to the airport, still in CTY care, at this time as well. To my knowledge, the No-Contact order only stood while we were still in camp, so only four of those (those that are outlined in black are the four being referred to) are actual violations. However, the five that are not outlined in black show that the harasser did not understand what he did wrong. It actually shows that he is under the impression that everything is perfectly fine between us. How this is possible is beyond me at this point.
The images originally included here have been removed to preserve anonymity, but they included messages sent to her from the harasser and harassers friends.
The harasser sent her “Can we still keep in touch? I think we need to solve the trouble by ourselves.”
and sent to a friend of the victim, “Cty is closed Could u tell me what happened I m sad What things I did? Although maybe we won’t see each other again But I sincerely hope u can me the reason I don’t think I once hurt [victim] Me and [victim] are so closed friends Why? I m ur friend too I just want the answer Please I really love [victim] very much Is it wrong?”
The harasser also liked many of the victim's posts on Instagram.
He additionally texted another friend of the victim, saying, “Well, I have to say that our understanding maybe different But I knew I did something wrong I knew I did something wrong But not that serious I don’t want to explain anymore I wanna tell u that the whole thing is ridiculous I was glad to meet u all” followed by a picture of him and the girl who came forward about his harassment in which he has his arm around her while she is bending away a little and does not have her arm around him. He messages “This is the picture we took on Wednesday”
He also texted yet another friend of the victim, this time after camp (August 5th, 2018) trying to explain himself. This conversation is translated from Mandarin by the friend of the victim. "And I really can't agree with the fact you said I forced [victim] to take a picture. You weren't there, and you only said she involuntarily took a picture with me for your agenda. Most of the pictures between she and I are taken when one of the people ask to have it taken, I would never do such things [Taking pictures without consent] in front of everybody. I grew up in China so there is a possibility that there its a difference in culture, so I can accept the mistakes that I made [It might be worthy to note that the friend of the victim who received these messages also lives in China and does not agree that there were cultural differences that would have led to this kind of harassment] But I want to emphasize that a lot of the things between us are consensual Last Wednesday night I bought a coke, [victim] said she wanted some, I let her drink straight from the bottle, so I can do the same to her drinks I want to emphasize that the double-sidedness is what you guys and CTY staff did not understand Maybe the investigation started on Thursday, the staff believed that in the three weeks I did touch her but all the pictures I showed them there were many where her hand was on my shoulder It's like we both did the same thing, and naturally, neither of us will be comfortable You said I hugged [victim] but she asked me to hug her at the dance [first dance], Don't make bad examples and jump to decisions. The hug after the dance [first dance] was pre-planned. There are some things between us that you don't understand, but I am willing to tell you"
Then, after that, the harasser sent inappropriate and manipulative messages to another friend of the victim. (August 8th, 2018) He sent a picture of his arm with multiple bloody cuts on it "This is my punishment Is it enough [crying emoji] I don't want to explain more Only 1:the things I did were wrong! 2:I'm very sorry about what I did 3:I love all of u in [class] especially for [victim] 4:I want ur forgiveness and give me a chance to change 5: Can we be friends again?"
After a few hours, with some other texts in between, he sent, "I went to hospital it's fine. because I cannot express my feelings and I had nothing to do and very very upset about the things I did . I hate myself because I hurt [victim] [crying emoji] These [referring to cuts] will be recovered in two weeks I hate the things I did. [victim] is the first girl I hugged.so obviously that I didn't want to hurt her .but I did I hate myself"
A close friend of the harasser also texted multiple times, saying, among other things, “Do u regret complaining to the RAs about [harasser] Cuz he is really sad now” and "Why is [violent student] in the Nurse, [harasser] and [additional student] distressed and rumors all over the place abt [harasser]” The girl responded with “Can’t discuss” and the friend continued, saying, “Like [harasser] is so depressed that he doesn’t let me in his room and His roommate is in my room And he needs his cap back”
Another problem with how the No-Contact order was handled was when they took two other girls in my class out of the dance. At that time, we were very scared to be apart due to the situation at hand and expressed that we did not want to be separated. In fact, our RA was told that we could go with them to receive these No-Contact orders, given that they all had the same information the rest of us were given. However, after begging the administration members not to separate us in an environment that just did not feel safe, they did anyway. I do not understand why this had to be done separately if we were all receiving the same order. These environments were so stressful and scary based on how decisions panned out, the separation only added to our anxiety at the time.
Additionally, the liking of my Instagram posts, a No-Contact order violation, was taken more seriously than the initial claims of sexual harassment.
After requesting a conversation with the highest up people I could speak with, I had a conversation with Shawn and Jackie at around 12:15 pm on Friday. In this conversation, I expressed my concern with what the contacting after camp was going to consist of, since Jackie had told me the night prior at 12 am that there was going to be contacting after camp. I was then told by Shawn that it is unlikely that I will be contacted after camp, even though the investigation will continue. Then, I expressed a point that was made the night prior again, which was that I was never asked any follow up questions after they talked to the student who had harassed me and had no clarifying conversations afterwards. The fact that there were no clarifying questions asked, even though I expressed on multiple occasions that I was more than willing to have those sorts of conversations, shows how the investigation did not follow the correct process. As outlined on the John Hopkins University website, I should’ve been talked to after the harasser was talked to, and then eye witnesses should’ve been talked to afterwards. When I expressed this, I was told that the investigation had branched off in multiple directions and that was why I hadn’t been spoken to again, but on Friday I was told that I would be unlikely to be spoken to again. There is no possible way that I left every single stone unturned when giving my reports. Another excuse for not having clarifying conversations that I was given by Shawn was that I already had them. However, most conversations since then that I had with Jackie were requested by me, and no questions were asked to me.
Additionally, prior to the dance on Thursday night, I had explicitly asked Nick the DRL to talk to all of us about how we would like our parents addressed. We were told we would have that conversation after they made amendments to the No-Contact document. No amendments that I was contacted about were made and that conversation was not had. I did not want them notified, and they did that anyway without permission. Not allowing me to choose how I wanted the situation handled ended up making the situation much worse.
On moving day, many things that I had previously been told were once again contradicted. For example, my hall-mates and I were told that neither the violent and threatening student nor the student who had sexually harassed me would ever be in AMR I again, however when I walked into the main office in AMR I and saw the student who had harassed me, it was clear I had been misinformed. Additionally, I was cleared to go down to the main office whenever I was ready to have a conversation with Jackie and Shawn around 12 pm. Upon walking into the main office, I approached the first RA I saw to let me know where Jackie was. Since the room was fairly crowded, she was pointed out to me and I saw her talking to another student. I began to approach her, and then looked over to my right only to see the student who had harassed me in the very same room. I had been cleared to go down and was not at all aware that he would be there. Needless to say, I left immediately. In addition to being misinformed about his whereabouts, I was also informed (when my friend was waiting for her 11:30 shuttle) that the harasser would not be transported to the airport in a shuttle with other students, and that he would be leaving on the next shuttle that was happening 15 minutes later. However, he was on a shuttle with a significant number of other students. Logistics should not be an excuse. If he is a threat to the safety of himself and/or other people, he should be treated that way.
There are multiple reasons why all of this even began. While I have been placing the blame on administrators just blaming those that are higher than them and an extreme lack of communication, there were other, more ground level problems that led to this situation getting extremely out of hand. For example, the instructor of our class, referred to as Lan, was flat out sleeping on the ground and sleeping three different times over the course of Wednesday, once during afternoon class, once during night class, and once while we were waiting to leave the observatory Wednesday night. This coupled with the habit of leaving various kids outside during break on accident and our instructor’s lack of fluency in English caused many of these situations to escalate from what they would’ve been. This neglect also led to my friend being targeted and bullied in class, as well as smaller outbursts of the violent and threatening student being overlooked.
These accounts of what happened regarding the 18.2 Baltimore administration are more serious than other Hall of Shame entries, but the more people who know what happened, the better. There are many students writing in or having their parents call in to the CTY main office to complain about these events now. Spreading information on what happened so that the administration knows this is not okay and will not be taken silently is critical.
Hey, it's the person who wrote everything in Italics above. So, there has been a lot since that was written (it has now been 6 months) and I'd like to update you all on further steps I took. After everything in Italics above was written, I sent it to many higher-ups at CTY that work throughout the year. This resulted in me having a phone call with a higher-up. This phone call, in my mind, was meant to help the administrators understand what went wrong and improve for next summer and for any further issues in the future. However, the phone call became a way for the administrators to defend themselves and say nothing was handled incorrectly. I took this with great offense as I managed to write a 10 page summary detailing all of the issues that occurred, and even if the administrators had no issue with the way they handled the harassment, I expected them to at least be upset with their own employees breaking their own rules (such as DRL telling us punishments that were meant to be kept secret, etc). So, as one could imagine, I was a little hurt when I realized CTY had no interest in working with me to make things better there and took the easy way out. I still plan on returning to CTY for my nevermore year, however I can not return to the JHU site as it will bring up too many bad memories, despite all the good ones.
18.2 Fire Alarm/Ocean Man
There was a student at 18.2 that begged for a song called "Ocean Man" to be played at a dance, so it was played at a less-than-optimal time due to the RA's DJing being forced to do so. It was played between Iris and Mr. Brightside, resulting in a group of students protesting the song by lying on the ground with their feet up in the back of the dance floor. The RA's were also being pressured to play a high-pitched noise sound file, but fortunatly did not. The same student was later sent home for pulling the fire alarm because his RA would not let him go outside one morning.