The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Where was the urgency?

CSUN dorms are located on the north side of campus along Zelzah Avenue. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Safety and security should always be a top priority when attending a college such as CSUN or living in student housing.

However, let’s face it, not all of us think twice about the walk back to the dorms or leaving the gym to the parking lot alone at night. It’s one of those instances where “it could happen to you” but since it hasn’t, you don’t treat it as a top concern.

Although when not just one but two sexual assaults happen near your school within just one week, you better rethink leaving those earbuds in when going for an evening walk. But wait, there were two assaults? On Sept. 26, a female CSUN student was raped in her dorm room but no notifications were sent out. A week passed by, still no notifications except from the Sundial and everyone was focused about preparing for Big Show.

After hearing about the first assault, I asked my friends who live there now if they heard anything and no one had a clue. On Oct. 2, we all received an e-mail from the school’s president, Dianne Harrison, about an opportunity to apply to the Clinton Global Initiative University. Yet still nothing was sent out regarding the assault that occurred at the dorms.

The second sexual assault occurred half a block away from my apartment. A 21-year-old female CSUN student was prevented from entering Big Show around 9 p.m. on Saturday and walked toward her friend’s apartment near Prairie Street just off of Reseda Boulevard. She was then sexually assaulted by a man in the alley between Prairie and Vincennes Street.

On Tuesday morning, an email was sent out by Chief Anne Glavin from campus police regarding the sexual assault that was reported during Big Show on Saturday, three days after the fact. The description of the suspect given: Hispanic male around 130 to 150 pounds, a similar vague description as the first assault.

My concern is the handling of these two assaults by CSUN and campus police. Whenever there are natural disasters, nearby or on-campus shootings or recent thefts, we are constantly notified by CSUN through e-mails and phone calls that given day. There was no urgency. So I ask the deafening question, why weren’t we notified? Why weren’t we notified sooner? Why aren’t these assaults treated as a priority?

Monday morning as I was walking to school, I kept getting messages from concerned family members and friends telling me to be careful and to carry pepper spray. Apparently these recent assaults have already been reported and televised on the local news channels. So why and how is it that I, a CSUN student, have to find out the details of these assaults that happened near my campus from watching television or from my family, resources outside of the school? I had to search the first assault online myself.

You could argue that it didn’t happen on-campus or the investigation is still pending. Well true, but Big Show was a CSUN event and it involved a CSUN student. As for the first assault, it happened inside the CSUN dorms.

So how do we find a solution for this? We already have Matador Patrol on campus and at student housing that can walk with you to and from if need be. There are security bike paroles that patrol student housing and the parking lots until two in the morning. We also have our campus police located on Darby Avenue and Prairie Street. However despite having all of these outlets, sexual assaults are still occurring.

Last semester, all CSUN students had to complete a mandatory online survey regarding sexual violence called “Agent of Change.” It was our school’s way of trying to be proactive against issues involving sexual harassment, assault and domestic violence. Yet it’s ironic that after these two recent sexual assaults occurred, not one representative from the school has come forth to discuss what happened.

So let’s really be proactive! Why not incorporate actual police presence in the parking structures throughout the evenings more frequently?

Rather than mandate the students to complete an online survey, [which was hacked] why allow professors at least one class per semester to talk about sexual violence?

As a student at CSUN, I want to feel safe, be treated as a priority and be informed about attacks that I have a right to know about.

More to Discover