Take Back the Night Concedes the Night to Georgetown Cuddler in Solemn Surrender Ceremony
RED SQUARE—The Georgetown University chapter of Take Back the Night, a student group fighting against sexual assault on campus, gave up its long war with the Georgetown Cuddler Monday night in a quiet, formal signing ceremony in Red Square.
“We have spent countless hours trying to get women to lock their doors and use basic common sense, but at some point we had to face the fact that this war was unwinnable and was a drain on what few resources we have to battle gendered violence and domestic assault,” said group president Rebecca Connor (COL ’11) in a press conference on the steps of White-Gravenor before the ceremony. “We wish the Cuddler the very best of luck with the night.”
Take Back the Night’s full membership, mostly freshmen who signed up at SAC Fair a few weeks ago, surrounded the long, ornate cherry wood table and began the ceremony by laying down their anti-Cuddler posters, cans of mace, and keys to their respective dorm rooms, apartments, and town houses in a pile and walking away from them. As part of the language of the agreement, current members of Take Back the Night will be exempt from the Cuddler entering their rooms in the middle of the night and committing perverse sex acts against them, though the Cuddler’s chief solicitor Bob Maxwell (LAW ’92) noted their roommates were not party to the surrender.
G.U. Men Creating Change, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, and Vice President for Campus Safety Rocky DelMonaco were additional signatories of the surrender, though Olson mumbled something about having to deliver a speech somewhere and was thus unable to attend. G.U. Men Creating Change President Darren McPherson (SFS ’12) also spoke at the press conference.
“It does no good to continue to fight this war. There are other things on this campus for us men to change. Despite our overwhelming advantage in men we’ve convinced not to commit sexual assault, the Cuddler was victorious,” McPherson said. “He just wanted it more.”
After all parties had used the ceremonial quill to sign the document, a shadowy figure appeared from the shrubbery behind Copley. The man, a 5’11”-6’0” Hispanic of medium build, presented himself as the Georgetown Cuddler. The Cuddler was in full military dress, a dazzling white uniform studded with handmade badges apparently denoting various weird and heinous sexual assaults and home invasions he has committed over the years. Draped over his right arm was brown fleece blanket covered in small patches of white stains.
After signing the canvas-and-gold-bound document and applauding himself, the Cuddler reached across the table, shook the hand of Connor, and continued forward, throwing his blanket onto her and trying to grope her breasts. DelMonaco intervened with a swift forearm to the Cuddler’s face.
In a signing statement that appeared the next morning in the beds of young women who write for campus newspapers, the Cuddler was pleased but reserved.
“I realize that possessing the night as it occurs at Georgetown University and the surrounding neighborhoods is a succulent opportunity, but it also carries with it tremendous responsibility,” the Cuddler scrawled. “I realize there have been times in the past when I have lapsed in my capacity to creep out and strike fear in the hearts of female undergrads, but I now commit myself to taking advantage of open entrances and susceptible women and carrying out disgusting intrusions of personal spaces and orifices at any and all available opportunities.”
To close the ceremony, a member of Take Back the Night lowered and removed the group’s most recent, most desperate official flag, a blue sheet with gray letters spelling out “Just Lock Your Doors, Idiots,” as a nearby boombox played Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Next, a full, sixty-piece tuxedoed orchestra made up of Washington-area sex offenders played a song apparently called “Battle Hymn of the Digital Penetration,” a personal anthem of sorts victims say the Cuddler hums quietly to himself as he commits or attempts to commit his trademark sexual assaults. The Cuddler, tears streaming down his face, approached the pole and raised his own flag, a collection of stolen women’s clothing stuck together with an unknown adhesive.
The Cuddler then saluted his flag and orchestra and ran into the alley behind White-Gravenor.
Connor later said DPS and Metro Police had been contacted to be at the ceremony and arrest the Cuddler, but officials from both departments said officers in the area were too busy patrolling the neighborhood for student noise.