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Students taking stand after recent sexual assaults reported at IU, Purdue

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Walking to and from class is starting to put some Indiana University students on edge. Sophia Rozzi says she has heard it all from her friends and sorority sisters.

“People being chased after, people being cat called and called at, it’s just kind of gross,” Rozzi said.

She says she wasn’t surprised when several chapters recently choose to boycott events with fraternities.

“I don’t think IFC (Interfraternity Council) is taking the correct approach to things. I don’t think they’re teaching their boys, men, the proper protocol on how to treat women,” Rozzi said.

More than a dozen sexual assaults have been reported to the Indiana University Police Department in the past two months. The university released a statement, saying in part, “The Office of Institutional Equity is concerned about the increased number of sexual assault reports involving students so far this semester. Other universities are also experiencing a rise in reports and the reasons are unclear. Often, an increase in reports, not incidents, can be due at least in part to students being more familiar with university sexual misconduct processes and more willing to make a report and to make it soon after they experienced sexual assault.”

Freshmen Ella Ray and Calli Smith feel some relief knowing the issue is getting attention.

“Yeah, just to make you more aware of your surroundings,” Ray said.

“No, I’m glad too. I think it’s super sad but I’m glad that people can talk about it and get the help that they need,” Smith added.

Purdue University is dealing with similar problems. In West Lafayette, the Panhellenic Association also canceled paired events with fraternities until later this month.

A spokesperson from the university said, “Since the start of the academic year in August, 3 campus-related sexual crimes (reported as: a “sexual assault,” a “sex offense,” and a “rape”) have been reported to Purdue police and are under investigation by law enforcement. Any additional reports in Clery logs were filed to university personnel and include occurrences prior to August 1. Law enforcement is only able to investigate incidents reported to them; these reports are anonymous and often filed by staff members who are working with incomplete information.”

News 8 first started looking into reports of sexual assaults on college campuses two weeks ago when students at IUPUI held a demonstration following an alleged rape in a residence hall. Students there told News 8 another, larger protest is being planned on IU Bloomington’s campus in the coming weeks. A date for that protest has not been shared.

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