USU Offers More Information About Safety Alert
Thursday, Sep. 07, 2017
Utah State University Police issued a safety alert on Sunday, Sept. 3, just before noon. This alert gave notice of an alleged acquaintance rape that occurred Friday night in a car parked south of 400 North in a parking lot on the Logan campus. An acquaintance rape is a rape perpetrated by a person known to the victim. In this case, neither the victim nor alleged suspect are affiliated with USU.
“Safety alerts are not always used to warn communities when an acquaintance rape has occurred,” said USU Police Chief Mike Kuehn, “but we want our students to understand that most sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim, many of these by someone the victim was dating at the time.”
USU provides safety alerts when there is a potentially dangerous situation on the USU campus so our campus community can take precautions. USU will work to send a warning as soon as possible, and sometimes this may be before all the facts surrounding an incident are known or have been verified. In this case, police received the report late Saturday night. Though the information available was incomplete, they felt it was important to alert the community to ensure safety. The suspect description provided in the Code Blue alert on Sunday was all that was known at the time. The case is currently under investigation.
The federal Clery Act also requires universities to issue “timely warnings” – or safety alerts – to the campus community within 24 hours for certain crimes that: are reported to the campus police, occur on campus property and might pose a serious continuing threat to students and employees
The USU Police Department decides if or when a safety alert should be sent on a case-by-case basis. Typically, USU will error on the side of caution and alert students, staff and faculty, even when an incident or crime does not involve a member of the campus community.
USU authorities are evaluating the lighting for the parking lot, as well as whether to increase surveillance of that lot through cameras or officer patrols. In addition to a sexual assault awareness class mandatory for all new students, USU offers bystander intervention training to teach students, staff and faculty when and how they can step in to prevent a sexual assault or best respond to help a victim.
Timely warnings and safety alerts are sent through USU’s Code Blue Alert System. You can update your preferred contact information at www.usu.edu/alert. Depending on the nature of the crime or threat, USU will notify the campus community through the university homepage, phone calls, email, text messaging, social media or the local news media.
USU provides numerous resources for victims of sexual assault, including confidential counseling and advocacy through the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information office. Learn where to seek medical help, file an official report about a sexual assault to USU’s Title IX office or file a police report at www.usu.edu/sexual-assault.
Contact: Amanda DeRito, 435-797-2759, Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org