Two Assaults on Campus

BY BRANDAN BLOM // SEPT. 26, 2014 //

Less than a week after a female Curry student reported being assaulted on campus, another female student has reported a similar but separate incident.

According to the college, the most recent assault occurred on South Campus at 2 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. Four males, described as “college aged,” approached the student, and two of them attempted to remove her clothing. She was able to flee the area.

The previous assault, on Friday, Sept. 19, occurred at around the same time (1 a.m.) and same location. In that incident, an unknown male lifted a female student’s clothing without her consent. She was able to escape without further incident, according to the college. In both cases, the female students were walking alone.

“The college took appropriate actions upon receiving the report, including supporting our student, informing external law enforcement, and issuing a safety alert to our community,” Curry’s director of communications, Fran Jackson, said following the first incident. “The safety of our community is a fundamental priority, and we have encouraged anyone with information to contact our Department of Public Safety.”

Public Safety declined to comment on the assault. Following the second incident, the college said it has “heightened public safety measures and increased patrols on campus with the assistance of the Milton Police Department.”

According to the Curry Student Handbook, such incidents fall under sexual harassment, even though many in the media have described them as sexual assaults. The college defines sexual harassment as, “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

Individually, and taken together, the two assaults have some students concerned.

“I definitely have to watch my back. I make sure I’m walking with somebody at night,” said Amber Caplan, a senior communication major. “I make sure that who I’m hanging out with is someone that I trust.”

Added Hilary Olsen, another senior communication major: “Yeah there’s danger” for female students. “It’s really scary because there have been so many assaults in the past [few] years.”

Curry has taken steps in recent years to better educate students about sexual harassment and assault. The Student Activities department has hosted annual “Consent Day’s” to inform students about the proper ways to physically engage with someone.

“The college conducts a range of sexual assault awareness and prevention programs,” Jackson said. “The safety of our community is a fundamental priority, and sexual assault will not be tolerated by the college in any form.”

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