Crime Watch 8

IU, IUPUI students work together as reports of sexual assaults rise

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A rally planned for next weekend comes as sexual assault cases continue to increase at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus.

The event will be the third rally by the Indiana Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign, also called ISAAC.

The group was started by students at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis a little over a month ago after a reported sexual assault in a dorm.

IUPUI freshman Noah Thomas is a member of ISAAC. “I just searched sexual battery. There was 14. Rape, there was 16. Stalking, there was nine. Harassment, there was 12.”

Thomas has kept a close eye on college campuses in Indiana, and the numbers he’s referring to are reports from IU Bloomington. “Something needs to change, and I’m sure the university is concerned, but what have they done?”

The freshman said his strong statement comes from his own experience on IUPUI’s campus. Thomas said Friday the demands his group asked for in September have not been met by campus officials.

Another ISAAC member and IUPUI freshman, Caeley Hayes, said Friday the fight is continuing.

“I mean we still haven’t gotten anymore cameras here, so that’s still something we’re going to be fighting for, not only for IUPUI but for all other campuses,” Hayes said.

IUPUI Sophomore Kaitlyn Dibble said that’s why the group is taking a road trip to IU Bloomington’s campus. “When 1 in 4 women in across 33 major college campuses across the U.S. have sexual assault experiences, then we really need to work on that from an education view rather than just trying to put temporary fixes on it.”

Police in Bloomington said they’re paying close attention. IU Police Chief Jill Lees said, “Sexual assault is on the increase. IUPD is very concerned about this and we take it very seriously.”

The police chief said she doesn’t know what’s causing the rise in cases, but encourages students to keep reporting them “because we want to create a safe environment here on campus.”

However, Lees said, police were unaware of the latest move announced on social media by the university’s newspaper. It said fraternity parties and paired events are canceled indefinitely.

“While I work closely with Greek life and with Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council, I had no knowledge of what their decision is or what they are doing as far as canceling the paired events,” Lees said.

Thomas also was not sure who initiated the cancellations, but said it’s a good step. “If the frats did it, good for them, then they realize there’s an issue and they need to solve it. If it was the school and not the frats, then the frats need to realize they are wrong and need to be held accountable immediately.”

News 8 reached out to university to learn more about the canceled events and did not hear back.

The IUPUI students are heading to Bloomington to protest next Sunday, Nov. 14.