Reacting, responding to assaults on campus
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 14:01
Students and groups on campus have responded proactively after Saturday night’s assault, the second attack in less than two weeks.
The Women’s Center has arranged a question-and-answer event on Jan. 31 in the Memorial Union journey room from 10 to 11 a.m., according to Lucero Garcia, program coordinator for the Women’s Center and a sophomore in exercise and sports science.
“A lot of students can come and ask questions and get answers to their concerns regarding the last two incidences,” Garcia said.
Officer Autumn Jordan of the Department of Public Safety at Oregon State University will speak about safety, including “personal safety tips, things to look for around campus, and how to identify suspicious behavior.”
“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of questions about the assault; however, those won’t be addressed by me. I will simply be giving some guidance and some tools that can be used for individuals that are wandering around campus at night or anywhere,” Jordan said.
Jordan suggests that students be aware of their surroundings.
“Always walk in pairs, don’t walk in dark alleys, stay in areas that are lit up, let somebody know your path of travel. If something looks suspicious, call for help,” Jordan said.
Non-emergency line for Oregon State Police: 541-737-3010
Emergency line for Oregon State Police: 541-737-7000
Students have contacted the Women’s Center asking for safety whistles, so they ordered some and will have them available for free later in the week, according to Jenney Lee, program coordinator for the Women’s Center and a senior in anthropology.
“We are really interested in putting on an outreach event like Take Back the Night,” Lee said. “It’s likely to happen; we don’t have a firm date or plan for it yet.”
Even if a “Take Back the Night” event does not take place, Lee said the center will conduct an outreach event “so that students can feel engaged and involved.”
Most people who are assaulted are assaulted by people they know, not by a stranger, Lee said.
“The two scenarios that have happened recently on campus are scary because they’ve happened near campus, they’ve happened in a small community and we all feel threatened and scared by that, but in reality, this is the least likely scenario for assault,” Lee said.
Lee stressed that the Women’s Center is a resource that helps people get in contact with the right groups.
“We really serve as a liaison,” Lee said.
Garcia recommends taking advantage of SafeRide, a service that has seen a jump in ridership since Monday. ASOSU SafeRide Director Tim Daniel sent out an email promoting SafeRide.
“As a response to the assaults that have been going on around campus, we’ve definitely seen an increase in ridership,” Daniel said.
Daniel said the service has the most riders between Monday and Thursday, and that the number of people SafeRide transports tapers off over the weekend.
Response time varies depending on the number of calls they receive, Daniel said. Most calls come in between 7 and 11 p.m.
“We had the most calls we’ve had in at least the last two years on just last night,” Daniel said. “That time, wait times get really long.”
Normally, Daniel said SafeRide transports about 75 people a night, but Monday there were nearly 160 people riding. SafeRide runs within about 10 to 15 minutes of campus, and a comprehensive map of SafeRide coverage can be found on the website along with hours of operation asosu.oregonstate.edu/saferide.
“Please use it if you need it,” Daniel said. “That’s what it’s here for.”
McKinley Smith, news reporter