Recent Safety Issues

Anyone know what OU is doing about the alarming safety issues as reported lately? After some digging it seems there have been past issues as well and maybe not enough being done? My daughter was going to apply but it doesn’t sound safe (not well lit, no cameras or security around dorms etc…) Maybe a current student or parent has some insight.

The recent issues are definitely concerning–and there has not been a whole lot of communication around them from the administration to date. (My son is currently a junior living off campus–close to where one of the incidents occurred).

My husband will be visiting my son in three weeks and intends to stop by both OU and Athens PD to see if he can get any further information on what is being done. What he hears may seriously influence our current senior’s application to OU (she was planning on applying to the HTC).

Following this thread. Was considering applying to OU but now that I’ve heard this I’m a bit concerned.

UC isn’t in that good of an area either, but I’m still applying.

I will check in with my son later tonight and report back anything that I hear from him. Having not heard anything from him in a week makes me think things may be settling down.

During his first two years, safety issues were actually quite rare–each year had 5-6 total. For a school of 26K students this is indeed rather safe.

My D is a junior there and I want to have a discussion with her. I know she was interested in an event taking place there called “What were you wearing” which had to do with not blaming the victim. I have heard that they suspect that at least 2 and maybe 3 of the events are related and that the same person may be the culprit. I hope this doesn’t get buried. While I understand the importance of investigating an incident (incidents), I want to know if charges are filed, they find there is not enough evidence to proceed, they are still looking for the alleged perpetrator, etc… My D has always been careful just because it’s prudent but has never felt insecure on campus and as far as I know she still feels that way. I’ll say more after I get a chance to talk to her.

Here is some of the information I have found on it.

please read my post under the updates thread…it wouldn’t let me cut and paste the entire reply here.

@PBJonRYE Most of these incidents have taken place on South Campus or off campus. Unfortunately the first victim chose not to identify herself so that incident can’t be investigated. It does sound like the alleged assailants had similar descriptions (different hair colors). The incident which most concerns me is one where the young women was forced into a car. She claims she did not know her assailant and he took her to her dorm room to assault her. I would be pounding on doors as I walked through the dorm. I am most concerned with there being a person targeting students. All assaults are bad but the idea of someone violently assaulting someone randomly disturbs me the most. The other incidents either took place off campus or it seems that the victims knew their assailants.

I spoke with my D yesterday and she is aware of the assaults, the efforts by the OU police and the university to make students aware of the incidents. She is usually careful anyway and said she doesn’t feel much different than she did the past two years. What this doesn’t seem at first glance is a result of the party culture at OU. While I’m sure alcohol may be involved it has not been mentioned in any of the descriptions of the incidents.

I think it can be harder for Freshman than upperclassmen. They are not used to the culture, being surrounded by so many fairly unsupervised peers and not knowing their fellow students well enough to be sure they always have a group around them. They are usually more susceptible to peer pressure and when alcohol is involved have less experience in knowing it’s affects and their tolerance. My D’s (a junior, living in an apartment) friend group is much tighter now. She knows the people she associates with and naturally has friends with her when she goes out at night. I wish your D the best. College can be a terrific experience and hopefully both of you can enjoy it.

Sounds like there may be a predator in the community, who may not be a student but knows how to choose victims. Hopefully the police and university are doing everything they can for real (rather than merely paying lip service to the idea) although a university with six assaults in such little time should be very motivated in stopping the problem.

Not the way you want to make the USA Today (it was a Cincy Enquirer article, but USA Today felt the need to pick it up)

Well, there’s clearly a problem. Good for te students taking action though.

I’m a current freshman at OU, and, while the high rate of assaults is definitely concerning, many of the students here are speculating that it might be a rise in reported assults rather than an actual rise in assults overall. However, my roommate’s mom got pepper spray for each of the girls in our close friend group, and we carry these with us whenever we have to go somewhere alone after dark. None of us have participated in any of the parties, though, so we have not been in too many situations where we would feel unsafe.

I don’t think anyone considering OU should rethink about applying here just because of the sexual assaults. Those are a problem for sure, but many people are taking actions to prevent the situation from intensifying. The positives I have experienced so far at OU far outweigh any of the negatives, and there are a lot of precautions people can take to feel safe. I have called my roommate before when walking back to the dorm after dark, and there is a late night cab option available for people who plan ahead (my roommate has had good experiences with that). There are also plenty of friendly people willing to accompany you if you need to go somewhere quickly in the dark - just a few days ago I stopped one of my friends in the halls of our dorm to ask if he’d take a short walk with me to drop something off at an academic building, and just having him with me not only made me feel safer on my short mission but also made it kind of fun.

Another discussion with my son, and my husband’s trip to the OU police during his recent campus visit, pretty much confirms @izzyD123 's post above. Things seemed to have calmed down tremendously and we watched our daughter submit her application to OU earlier this month.

Calmed down because someone as been apprehended? Because the university and the students have done something about it? Of because no one’s repeated anything in a while?

I would say no more reports and heightened awareness/safety measures by both the students and school. I have not heard anything specific about any arrests.

Unless you count this:

Unless the town and gown get together to enforce the actual laws on the books ( i know i said this before) things will never change in Athens. Close & fine bars that serve underage kids/arrest & fine those with Fake IDs/close & fine package good stores that sell to underage kids, etc etc…as Alum and current parent of student, it’s incredibly sad that things haven’t changed in 40 years.

Ugh. I was not aware of the most recent fraternity issue. I agree that the city/school/police need to tighten enforcement on underage drinking, as this clearly contributes to sexual assault.

However report of sexual assault is clearly on the rise throughout the country. Here in MA we have a very small, religious college also dealing with sexual assault issues : I applied to this school back in the day–and these sort of reports were unheard of there up until now. I certainly do applaud the pro-active stance of the administration in this regard though.

no doubt it’s being reported more and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s a long-standing culture issue at OU. There needs to be a concerted joint effort between town/gown as well as strict enforcement of all laws on the books. Once kids and parents start seeing fines and jail time then i believe you have a chance of a sea change–and we haven’t event gotten to the dreaded “fest season” in the spring yet!

UC is definitely on fringes of not great area but campus is somewhat closed. That is a concern we noticed as well. We drove from hotel downtown to campus for visit and went through an area that was boarded up and I was not at all comfortable and we know the state well. Definitely worth asking questions about safety.

Not to butt in, but are you guys talking about the University of Cincinnati? My daughter is a freshman there, and my husband is a two-time alum. Please feel free to PM me with any questions about perceived safety or anything else. :slight_smile: