Four rapes have been reported on the University of Dayton campus this school year with the most recent incident occurring over the weekend.
UD officials declined to comment Monday on the alleged rape in a university-owned residence in the south student neighborhood.
The alleged victim contacted police at about 4 a.m. Saturday and reported that she was raped earlier in the evening during a party at her residence, according to a safety advisory issued by the university.
“I was with all my friends,” UD student Nora Egan said. “We were reading (the advisory). It was pretty scary.”
Saturday’s assault was the fourth reported at this school year.
On Aug. 28, a rape was reported at an Irving Avenue location redacted in a UD police report.
On Sept. 4, a rape in a Caldwell Street residence hall was reported to police, and on Sept. 12 police received a report of a separate alleged rape in Stuart Hall that also occurred on Sept. 4.
The number of sexual assaults or rapes reported does not necessarily mean there are more happening, but that more people are comfortable reporting them, UD spokesperson Cilla Shindell said.
“People are starting to be more comfortable to talk about it; it’s always been an issue,” UD student Claire Dinan said.
The victim in the weekend incident told police a male she doesn’t know pushed her into a bedroom and forced her to engage in “non-consensual sex,” according to the advisory. She described her assailant as short-to-average height and college-aged with short brown hair.
UD police collected evidence and are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information about what happened should call (937) 229-2121.
The university is required to issue alerts to students about sexual assault or rape if there is an “ongoing threat,” according to the U.S. Department of Education’s handbook on campus safety.
The university offers programs to students aimed at preventing sexual assault, and UD has posted 15 “safety phones” throughout campus.
Kristen Keen, an assistant dean of students, works full-time on sexual violence prevention and oversees the programs.
Having a full-time administrator who handles sexual violence prevention sets the university apart from others, Shindell said.
“We want to provide the best possible outcome for our students,” she said.
“Green Dot” is one of three programs that empowers people on campus to combat sexual assault and violence, according to the university.
The program, which started in 2014, encourages students and faculty to do something representing a positive “green dot,” such as talking to people about violence on campus, posting on social media or walking a friend home when he or she has had too much to drink. The program aims to prevent “red dots,” which are instances of violence.
There are monthly training sessions for Green Dot, which Keen said are always full, regardless of what is going on at the university. The sessions are popular, Keen said, because they offer students a chance to make a difference in the community “by keeping one another safe.”
“I think students want to learn how to prevent it,” Keen said.