A sexual assault occurred on campus at the Nittany Apartments this past weekend, in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, March 22. According to the alert, the victim, who was a student, was sexually assaulted by a male believed to be known by the victim. This is the second reported on-campus sexual assault in two months at Penn State. With 60 percent of sexual assaults going unreported, the actual number that have occurred in this short timeframe could be much higher.
This news comes two months after the U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation into sexual assaults at Penn State, in part due to the significant jump in the number of complaints from 2010 to 2012. Four on-campus sexual offenses were reported to campus police in 2010. The following year, six times more complaints were received (24 reports). Fifty-six reports of sexual offenses were received in 2012, which is 14 times more than in 2010.
A PSUTXT alert was sent to students late Monday night inform them that, “conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the University community.” In compliance with the Clery Act, Penn State must give students fair warning of possible dangerous conditions on or near the campus. The Clery Act requires higher education institutions to disclose information on criminal acts throughout campuses, including but not limited to sexual assault, murder, and hate crimes.
The alert also calls for anyone who may have information about the assault to contact University Police, and lists steps students can use to avoid becoming a victim.
* When you go out, go in a group. Check in with each other throughout the night and leave together. Don’t let yourself become isolated with someone you don’t know or trust.
* Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, get to a safe place and call for help.
* Do not accept rides or walking accompaniment from people you don’t know well and trust. Take money for a taxi with you or use the Safe Walk Service at 865-WALK (9255).