A report was made to University Police about a sexual assault that happened in the early morning on Feb. 2 at Center Pointe Suites. Since this time, many students, especially students that live in and around Center Pointe have been concerned for their safety while living on campus.
“It honestly is so scary,” said University Suites resident, Jordyn Meeks. “It makes me feel like I cannot go anywhere alone. I may not live there, but I live right next to Center Pointe in University Suites. It’s crazy because we hear how scary being a woman can be, but to think that we may not even be safe in our own dorms—It’s eye-opening for sure.”
Many other students have expressed their concerns about the situation as well. With all the security located inside the dorm facilities, the incident came as a big surprise to the residents.
Because of COVID-19, students are no longer allowed to bring guests into the hall. Students have to swipe into the building multiple times, as well as their room. However, even with these measures in place, incidents are still bound to happen.
“A lot of times when we talk about safety tips, there’s this connotation that ‘well you should have to do X, Y, and Z to prevent A, B, and C,’” said UWG’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Erin Williams. “It’s really not any victim’s responsibility to prevent a crime. The goal of the institution is to shift that culture of the campus to more of preventing violence in the first place, instead of having a response to violence.”
The Title IX Office focuses on prevention and how students can protect themselves if all else fails in these types of incidences. The office also provides education for students about consent and non-consensual sexual contact. Some of the best tips in regards to these types of attacks are to be aware of your surroundings and avoid dangerous situations, keep doors and windows locked when home alone and when possible walk with others, especially at night.
UWG also offers different campus resources that can help students in these kinds of cases. The Counseling Center, University Police, as well as the Health Advocates that are provided by the Health Services and Title IX Office are just a few resources available to students. Also, many faculty and staff at UWG are mandated reporters. This means that if a student went to a resident assistant or a professor and told them of an incident, the assistant or professor would have to report it to the school. This is because they have a responsibility to protect other students from this happening again at UWG. If a student would not like to report it, the Counseling Center is confidential and is more than willing to help students.
Since the first announcement about the assault, an update has been provided to the UWG students to make them feel more secure in their university and schooling environment. This announcement stated that the victim knew the suspect. It also said that there has been no evidence that the suspect committing these acts is choosing random members of the university community.