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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students: UA could be safer

    Students stressed personal responsibility and common sense in reaction to the recent alleged sexual assault at Coronado Residence Hall Oct. 8.

    Freshman and sophomores have been increasingly concerned about personal safety in light of the incident but do not feel unsafe on campus, said Jessica Anderson, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    However, the results of past safety surveys “”indicate that the majority of students believe that the campus could be safer,”” she said.

    Savannah Allen, an English freshman, lives in Coronado and heard about the incident mostly through word of mouth, but first became aware of it during a hall meeting, she said.

    “”I’ve never felt unsafe, but something can always happen,”” Allen said.

    Allen said that Residence Life staff is “”doing a really good job”” and has seen them ask people who follow students into the dorm to check in at the desk.

    Ryan Wong, a biology junior, said that students need to “”be smart,”” and while it is common for people to hold doors open, “”You can’t hold the door for someone who is creepy.””

    He admits that it is more difficult to recognize fellow residents if students live in one of the larger dorms.

    Coronado has a 24-hour desk staff, something Wong said is “”not as important in the smaller dorms.””

    “”Coronado has a reputation as a party dorm,”” Allen said. “”(But) the same thing could happen at a smaller dorm.””

    Anderson would “”love to see a 24-hour staff at all the dorms,”” but said that funding for this might be difficult in light of recent budget cuts.

    “”Making it more difficult for you to get into your dorm isn’t exactly a safety precaution,”” said mathematics junior Megan Erickson.

    Erickson, who lived in Yavapai her freshman year, said she was chased on her way home one night but was able to get away by entering her dorm through the back. Students can no longer enter this dorm through the back, which is intended to improve safety in the dorm, she said.

    “”If I had to run all the way to the front, I would have been caught,”” she said.

    Erickson’s friend Brittney Rorex, a junior majoring in psychology and mathematics, had not heard about the incident in Coronado, but actually knew the woman who was sexually assaulted in Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall in 2007.

    “”Girls tend to blow things out of proportion as far as guys hitting on them and guys assaulting them,”” Erickson said.

    When students hear about a sexual assault, they often automatically assume it was rape, which “”is a really huge fear for girls,”” she said.

    Wong said his female friends were much more aware about safety after the assault at Manzanita-Mohave and often asked him to accompany them when they needed to walk around campus at night.

    “”There’s a higher probability that they could be a victim,”” Wong said.

    Students should always be aware of their surroundings, take a route that is well lit when they walk around campus at night and stay in groups, he said.

    Anderson said that the most important safety method is “”personal accountability … Students are protected by individuals not letting people in.””

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