Washington Square News

NYU Needs to Alert Students of Sexual Assault

By WSN Editorial Board

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While NYU usually sends punctual alerts whenever students are attacked by non-NYU students, the school has a terrible track record when it comes to attacks, especially sexual assault, performed by its own students. This lack of transparency fosters the misconception that sexual assault is not present at NYU. By hiding these instances, the university is doing a disservice to its students. Just as students at other major universities have put pressure on their administrations to be more open about sexual assault, NYU students need to demand transparency from our university about the reality of sexual assault on campus.

Sexual assault notifications both inform students of possible sex offenses on campus and promote awareness to prevent future incidents. In 2014, NYU reported six rapes and seven forcible fondlings and in 2015, there were 14 reported rapes and 8 forcible fondlings, with all  incidents occurring on on-campus, non-campus or public property. NYU students were not notified of these reported assaults and are only able to access the information by sifting through the 96-page Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. When assaults occur, notifying the community of their locations and times would allow students to take precautions in order to prevent repeated cases. Additionally, suppressing discussion of the sexual assaults on campus perpetuates an ignorance of the seriousness of these cases on college campuses.  

While NYU has no alert system in place, many other universities do. Many schools in the tri-state area, including CUNY and Rutgers University, have established alert systems used for public safety. These alerts are important to their communities and shine a light on the issues that still need to be addressed. Without these updates, NYU students are left without vital information and kept in the dark about safety concerns in the city. The University is objectively behind the curve in this field and must move forward in order to keep its students updated and safe.

Keeping these incidents hidden from students is a gross oversight by the university which must be addressed as soon as possible. Sexual assault is a serious issue that every university must deal with, and the first step in solving it s acknowledging that it happens.

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