On Aug. 16, Sonoma State University issued a timely warning to alert students on the campus to a crime that had been committed.
Due to the case still being an open investigation some information has been withheld until the case is considered solved and or closed
And according to a later email/police report briefing, it was announced that the crime that had been reported/ being investigated by the Sonoma State Campus police was a rape.
According to the Sonoma State Timely Warning Bulletin, “the reported rape occurred inside a residence within the campus residential community during the evening hours of Aug. 16, 2019.”
What is known is that “ The female survivor and suspect were recent acquaintances who met via social media.”
And the end of the timely warning, Sonoma State Campus police asked: “If anyone with information that might assist with the investigation is urged to call Sonoma State University Police at (707) 664-4444.”
Sonoma State University has unfortunately seen an uptrend in rape and other sexual assaults on campus.
According to the 2017-2018 Annual Security Report, which is the most recent security report with available data, there were ten reported rapes, with nine happening on campus last year. Which is more than the nine from 2015 and 2016 combined.
For Many Sonoma State Students, this uptrend of rapes occurring on campus is one that is startling and eye-opening.
Sonoma State Senior Garret Grubaugh said, “ I mean to be honest I was surprised at the sheer quantity of rapes that have occurred on campus.”
Grubaugh went on to say, “ I think in general, this particular type of crime in a university setting sometimes gets swept under the rug more than it should. Like a lot of times, I think colleges want to keep that type of crime ( sexual assault) under wraps to help keep up the image of the University.”
This idea was also echoed by another Sonoma State Student, who choose to remain anonymous as they said “ I think that some universities feel that by reporting publishing these sexual assault cases that it shed a bad light on the University itself. I think colleges should be more proactive and willing to address the problem. But I do think Sonoma State is trying to take more precautions.
And Sonoma State over the past year has been making strides in an effort to help improve on-campus safety for both students and staff.
As According to the 2019 Campus Safety Plan, Sonoma State University is starting to put in place more safety initiatives such as the increase of the number of Emergency Blue light call stations, Implement an electric police motorcycle patrol vehicle to enhance patrol capabilities and officer accessibility, formalize campuswide bystander intervention training for students, replaced lighting in Sonoma State Parking lots and primary walking travel/walking paths located around campus, and Assigned UPD personnel to assess and report campus lighting deficiencies to proper campus entities for resolution
As well Sonoma State has “Appointed a respondent service staff member to support students impacted by sexual violence or sex crimes.”
Students like Grubaugh acknowledged the new safety plan but still think there is room for improvement and said: “ Thought I think Sonoma State does a solid job, I still feel like more could be done to keep and help students feel more secure.”