OSU to hold town hall on safety tonight
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 02:02
In light of the two recent assaults in Corvallis, Oregon State University will hold a town hall meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center.
The open forum will cover a variety of topics including personal safety tips, prevention, recovery services at OSU, as well as opportunities for students who wish to get involved in campus safety efforts.
Attendees are encouraged to participate in the open discussion regarding concerns related to the recent incidents, issues surrounding sexual violence and assault, prevention, recovery and the continuance and improvement of safety measures at OSU.
According to the Women’s Center Staff, the meeting will include a panel of students and university staff who will explain the programs OSU already has in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence, and how one can become involved in these programs.
The agenda also includes a question and answer session with Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Larry Roper. Roper will facilitate the discussion about how students, faculty and staff can help to enhance campus safety.
The meeting will run until 7 p.m. and is open to all interested students, community members, faculty and staff.
According to Corvallis Police records, Corvallis residents reported 365 assault-related incidents in 2012. In addition, OSU reported four incidents of assault as well as three forcible sex offenses in 2011.
These numbers have decreased in recent years, but efforts toward further prevention remain crucial.
OSU and the surrounding community have taken many initiatives recently to keep students and Corvallis residents safe while the assailant has yet to be apprehended.
OSU’s Women’s Center has been handing out whistles on campus and posting safety tips on their Facebook page. Northwest Martial Arts, located on 3rd Street in downtown Corvallis, will be hosting a free women’s self-defense seminar at 4 p.m. on Feb. 9. Local law enforcement has increased bicycle and vehicle patrols in the area.
The Corvallis Police Department formed an 18-person task force last week. The task force’s sole purpose is to investigate the two recent attacks on female residents on and near the OSU campus and continue to follow any leads they may receive.
While many students study alone late at night on campus and some classes begin and end well after dusk, taking the necessary precautions to promote one’s safety is essential.
Corvallis Police Department and campus officials urge students to avoid walking alone at night whenever possible, use the marked blue emergency phones on campus, let someone know when you are leaving a location at night, refrain from the use of headphones while navigating the streets, and use SafeRide, which is free and available to all students.
Gabriella Morrongiello, news reporter