BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (November 18, 2015) - After 12 sexual assaults reported this semester, students are standing up and saying enough is enough when it comes to safety.
Bloomington Police released the sketch of a suspect in the latest sexual attack at an off-campus apartment complex. They confirmed the woman assaulted is not a student, however, a lot of students live in the complex, adding to the increased sense of fear.
“I didn’t want to stand by for another week to hear about it and this last one was three blocks from my house," explained Miko Siewenie, Co-Chief of Marketing with the Indiana University Student Association.
Siewenie and The Indiana University Student Association created an online survey asking students to rate their feeling of safety both on and off campus. So far, nearly 600 students have responded. Preliminary results show an overwhelming majority of students who filled out the survey are women. When rating their feeling of safety off campus, most students gave the university a 1 rating, which is the lowest score. A majority of students gave a 1 or 2 rating when asked if they feel safe on campus.
“On campus, there’s a lot of tension about it because you would think that safety would be first," Siewenie said.
Students like Siewenie are also concerned about the area in and around Dunn's Woods, the location of an attack on a female student last week. Siewenie hopes the results of the survey will help persuade university leaders to add more lights to the heavily traveled woods.
“It’s pretty dark, because otherwise, the light pollution would get in the way of the astronomy students being able to pursue their major," she said.
IU Campus Police have another solution. They're recommending students to avoid Dunn's Woods while walking alone at night.
“There are other adequate areas to go that are well lit and well traveled," said IU Police Public Information Officer, Lt. Craig Monroe.
Since the string of assaults, IU Police have added extra patrols. Currently, there are 41 full time and 50 part-time officers on the force. Many of the part-time officers have been asked to work extra hours. Police are also continuing to work with Bloomington Police, monitoring off-campus areas that students frequently travel to and from.
“We work very closely with the Bloomington Police Department especially around the preferrer parts of campus where there’s a large student population. We listen to the radio traffic. They listen to ours," Lt. Monroe said.
Siewenie said she hopes university official will look closely at the recommendations from students. She said officials should not have a choice when it comes to safety.
“There has to be a way that we can provide a safety net for everyone," she said.
The survey will remain open until Friday.