Stopping sexual assault

Assailants pulled an 18-year-old woman into a bathroom in Pioneer Hall early one morning last spring. One man held her down while another raped her, according to police reports. Even after reviewing hours of security camera footage, police could not identify any suspects and the case remains open. When a series of sexual assaults were reported on and near campus last spring the University community immediately grew anxious. As reported in the Minnesota Daily last week, it was the highest number of rapes and sexual assaults reported in the last four years. We commend the UniversityâÄôs efforts to increase security in the residential halls this fall. Every student has the right to feel safe in his or her own home on campus. Certainly, college âÄî especially for first-year students âÄî is stressful enough without the added worry of sexual assault. The Daily reported that the addition of 110 security cameras and six card readers to campus residence halls was part of a three-year update. The update will now take six months. The matter nevertheless should have been addressed immediately following the assaults last spring, and certainly, the work could have been finished over the summer. In the meantime, additional security monitors will be on hand to try to keep the residential halls as safe as possible. But students can contribute to these measures by not inviting unknown people into the halls and keeping track of their guests at all time. This is also a matter of individual responsibility. An unfortunate statistic from the Aurora Center reveals that up to 25 percent of women will be sexually assaulted during college. With numbers that high, it is the UniversityâÄôs responsibility to do everything possible to eliminate the potential for sexual assaults. It is shameful that it took four brutal assaults against University students last spring for such high levels of security measures to be enacted. The University and its students must remain vigilant and committed to keeping campus safe.