By Kelsey Stewart, News Editor
An 18-year-old student from Scott Village residence hall reported being sexually assaulted early Tuesday, Aug. 14 by a male assailant who entered her room without permission.
Upon further investigation by the Omaha Police Department, it was determined the student knew the man. It’s unknown if the suspect was a visitor or a student.
The UNO student joins the 95 percent of victims who also knew the person who assaulted them, said Marcia Adler, director of Health Services.
The university sent out an all-campus email as soon as they were aware of the report, said Tim Kaldahl, director of University Relations.
Campus Security and the Omaha Police Department increased patrols on campus and around the dorms starting that night, said Paul Kosel, Campus Security manager.
Officers patrol the dorms, inside and outside. Additional police officers are added during the first few weeks of school, too, Kosel said.
Students were advised to follow basic safety practices, like locking doors and being aware of their surroundings.
“Before you open the doors, look through the peephole and make sure you know who it is before opening it to them,” Kosel said.
Resources like the Blue Light Emergency Phones should be utilized if students ever need to report emergencies or contact Campus Security. There are 32 Blue Light Emergency Phones throughout both campus locations.
In addition to Blue Light, Campus Security can be texted. By texting UNO911 before your message to 79516, cell-phone toting students can report information and contact campus security.
Kosel advises students to report suspicious activity.
“If you see someone lurking about, give us a call,” Kosel said. “Let our office go down and figure out what’s going on.”
Students can call Campus Security for an escort if they ever feel uneasy about walking across campus or to the dorms.
“If you’re leery about walking out of your dorm to your car because of someone walking around, we’ll escort you,” Kosel said.
Many assault victims don’t come forward right away. Victims may find it difficult to talk about, even with family and friends.
“This young woman was very brave,” Adler said. “She spoke up right away.”
The university provides many resources for students who may experience a similar situation.
Students can visit the Counseling Center in the Eppley Administration Building and Student Health Services in HPER. In addition to those two facilities, the university keeps a counselor on call at all times.
“This young woman’s experience is one that one out of four students has had happen before,” Adler said. “It isn’t a college experience. It’s a human experience.”