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Students speak about recent sexual assault incidents on campus

Students discuss the recent string of sexual assault incidents as reported by University crime alerts. – Photo by Henry Wang

The University experienced a significant number of sexual assault incidents in recent weeks, specifically on the College Avenue campus.

On October 17, an individual associated with Rutgers was assaulted by a male perpetrator in the University Center at Easton Avenue Apartments laundry room at 10 p.m., as previously reported by The Daily Targum.

On October 29 at approximately 3 a.m. and on October 30 at approximately 2 a.m., two different female residents were assaulted while they were asleep in their Central Avenue home after a male perpetrator entered the premises through an unlocked window.

Also on October 30 at the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus at approximately 5:15 p.m., a male perpetrator dropped an item on an individual’s lap and inappropriately touched the victim when retrieving it.

Rutgers students expressed their thoughts on these sexual assault incidents as well as possible suggestions for precautions the University should take. 

Alexis Nieve, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said she received various crime alerts about these incidents and one of her parents also took note of this trend.

She said while she has gotten University crime alerts before, she feels especially concerned about these recent alerts and feels pressure to start taking more safety measures.

Christian Pamphile, also a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said these incidents can make individuals at the University feel unsafe on campus.

He said he is not sure how the perpetrators of these crimes are reaching their victims and individually takes precautions like locking his apartment entrance at night to keep himself safe.

Additionally, Pamphile said he remains aware of his surroundings at all times by keeping off his phone and observing his environment while in transit.

In terms of individual student safety, Amy Hoffman, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said she carries pepper spray with her. She said she is unsure about what actions the University should take to solve these problems but some campus organizations are trying.

“(Douglass Residential College) did a self-defense night .... and I think that’s a great idea,” Hoffman said. “If other organizations on campus want to do that, I think that’s a good option.”

She said the University can also provide better on-campus lighting during the night time, especially in areas on the Cook and Douglass campuses.

Emily Orzechowski, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, said there should be more security in residential areas, similar to how other universities staff their residence halls with security personnel.

Similarly, Pamphile said that Rutgers should increase patrolling around campus and increase the availability of police escorts to get around campus safely.

The University should also install more blue light emergency phones and add identification card scanners in not only residence halls but also academic classroom buildings, he said.

“Adding ID scans to buildings and schools so that no one walks into your class,” Pamphile said. “It should be more than just protection for where you live — it should be protection for where you learn, as well.”

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