BOONE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The serenity surrounding App State University turned somber. Word came from University Police that a man sexually assaulted a female student in one of campus’ residential halls.
According to the university, the assault happened while students were moving in over the weekend. Classes just started on Tuesday.
Kathryn Grace Smith is a sophomore here. Harrison King is a junior. They tell FOX 46 Charlotte that the university sent out an email soon after the report was made at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.
“I think it’s really unfortunate that these kind of things happen especially on college campuses as the year is starting,” said King.
“Yeah, it’s always disheartening to hear stuff like this," said Smith.
Thursday morning, the doors to residence halls are locked. You need a key card to get in. University police say the perpetrator gained access on the pretext of needing to charge his phone.
Kathryn and Harrison say they feel like this is an isolated incident and were quick to tell me about the resources available to keep them safe.
APP STATE SEXUAL ASSAULT: University Police posting this message. Says student reported being sexually assaulted by a man she knew last Sat. pic.twitter.com/J91lrGLRVO— Caroline Fountain (@FountainFox46) August 24, 2017
“Police response is two minutes. The blue light system guarantees police response in 90 seconds. The counseling services are excellent and are free to all students. There’s the red flag program that students have to go through to help prevent this from happening.”
The Red Flag program is one of many resources to help prevent interpersonal violence on campus. Ellen Grulke helps coordinate it.
“A group of about 15 students who are called Red Flag educators go out and train students," Grulke tells FOX 46 Charlotte. "Understanding what interpersonal violence is and its prevalence, active bystander prevention to learn how to safely and effectively intervene, and then understanding rape culture.”
Police say the woman knew the man who assaulted her, but police say he is not connected to the university.