By TAYLOR ROBINSON
On Wednesday April 8, faculty, staff and students received emails and text messages warning of a possible sexual assault on Washtenaw’s campus.
Commander Marlene Radzik of the Washtenaw County Police Department reported on the situation.
“There was an allegation that criminal sexual conduct occurred,” Radzik said. “None of the information can be corroborated because the alleged victim is not cooperating with the police investigation.”
The alleged assault took place in a wooded area near the Golfside and Clark Road intersection. Although no other information has been released, police continue to search for answers.
While some students were shaken up by the alert, others still believe the campus is safely protected by security.
Global studies major Madison Pasciak, 19, of Whitmore Lake, expressed concern after receiving the email.
“I don’t think this happens [near] a lot of college campuses,” Pasciak said. “It does make me feel a little iffy, but I’m usually fine because there’s usually another person with me most of the week.”
17-year-old Juliana Awrey, of Brighton, is a medical student at WCC. This is Awrey’s first year at the college, and she thinks that campus security does a good job protecting students and the surrounding area of campus.
“Honestly, I don’t feel any different,” Awrey said.
Even though there are mixed emotions about the possible sexual assault, raising awareness of risks can help people stay safe.
According to a report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in December 2014, females age 18-24 had the highest rate of rape and sexual assault between the years of 1995-2013. The statistics also show that 80 percent of victimizations of students go unreported while 67 percent of victimizations of nonstudents go unreported.
Recently, it has become widely known that colleges also underreport these statistics, said Sara Gregory, a representative of the Student Press Law Center.
“No college wants to be number one in campus rape,” Gregory said.
Whether the victim is male or female, student or nonstudent, these offenses occur on and near college campuses across the United States, and the best protection is awareness.
To keep safe on campus, WCC security recommends that students, faculty and staff stay alert and aware of their surroundings, avoid isolated areas and avoid walking alone at night. The department also suggests that people trust their instincts and notify security immediately if something seems wrong.
If you feel unsafe and would like an escort to your campus destination, call campus security at 734-973-3411.