Student Safety on Campus

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An alleged sexual assault that happened on Marietta College's campus early Saturday morning came as a shock to students and faculty.

Now, the college is working to keep the campus a safe place, and to make sure students are being cautious.

"There was a van outside one of the dorms," Elizabeth Bratton, a student, said.

When Bratton saw a security van parked on campus she knew something was wrong.

"The school sent out an e-mail, and then one of my friends told me about it," she said.

And that's when Bratton heard about a sexual assault that campus police say happened between the hours of 4:00 and 6:30 a.m Saturday. It's something officials at the college never expected.

"It's something that's unusual for our campus, but not something that we can't handle," Tom Perry, director of college relations, said.

So on top of investigating the incident, campus police are also taking measures to inform students of ways to stay safe.

Chief David Valkinburg says it's important to travel in groups of two or more, always keep your doors locked and be aware of anyone who looks suspicious.

"Students should pay attention to their own safety and notify the police of things that are out of the ordinary," he said.

Valkinburg also says if you do find yourself alone, the police department has an escort service available, but that all safety precautions should be taken.

"In this particular case we don't know that providing an escort or anything would have helped," Valkinburg said.

As for Bratton, she relies on her intuition to keep her safe.

"I never walk that far, so I don't mind walking alone, but if I really felt unsafe, I would go to campus police," she said.

The Marietta College Police Department is working with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation on the assault case.

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