Sexual assault on campus

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SEXUAL ASSAULTS on college campuses have been a severe issue plaguing this country for decades, especially in recent years as more and more cases of sexual assault on college campuses are being brought to light. In the past two months, two instances of sexual assault have occurred on the Queens College Campus. These incidents have students and faculty concerned for their safety and the safety of others.

The first assault occurred on August 29 on the sixth floor of Klapper Hall; the second assault occurred on September 24 outside the Science Building.

In response to this, the Queens College Office of Public Safety sent out two emails that elaborated on the incidents and reassured the public that the incidents were being investigated with the help of the NYPD.

Numerous Townsend Harris High School students expressed concerns about safety on campus, with senior Alexis Sarabia stating, “I have to walk across campus to get to my bus stop, and recently I’ve been more nervous about going home alone.”

Sharing similar feelings, freshman Julia Xia offered ideas on staying safe.

“I would probably bring a friend, just in case anything [were to] happen,” she said.

Junior Leah Musheyev also commented on safety on college campuses, stating, “Now I have to be more aware of my surroundings when walking around QC campus, [which makes] me nervous when I’m just trying to walk around.”

In June 2016, former Stanford student Brock Turner was arrested after sexually assaulting a female student.

His shortened sentence incited immense criticism regarding how colleges handle sexual assault. Senior Sanjay Balram remarked, “our justice system owes convicts of sexual assault a fair and just trial, but obviously sentences such as Brock Turner’s are unacceptable.”

Freshman Emily Tan said, “Many colleges and universities tend to hide incidents of sexual assaults in order to maintain their prestigious reputation, and that’s not fair to the students.”

Senior Bernard Silverstein held a similar view, stating, “These institutions should put money towards strengthening their security systems in order to prevent such incidents.”

As a piece of advice, Queens College student Joshua Aminov said, “To stay safer, students and professors should be extremely aware of their surroundings and be cautious of who they speak to and should notify the police if they see any suspicious activity.”