Gustavus to hold meeting about weekend assaults

I’m always cautious about publicizing initial reports on assault cases at universities for a number of different reasons, chiefly to avoid sensationalizing the situation.

Although campus officials have so far released little about the following cases at Gustavus Adolphus College, I’m mentioning them because the campus has scheduled meetings on the matter.

I received this media advisory from Gustavus about two assaults that were reported on campus this weekend. The release offers essentially no context, such as the severity of the assaults, their nature, whether any suspects are students or outsiders, or whether the cases might be linked.

I’ve had calls out to the Gustavus information officer, and campus security won’t answer questions. I’ll try the city police department.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Two assaults were reported on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus this weekend.

The first incident was reported to have occurred near the Melva Lind Interpretive Center at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5, 2011. The second incident occurred near the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science on Sunday night, March 6, at about 8:30 p.m. These matters are being actively investigated by Gustavus Campus Safety and the St. Peter Police Department.

“This is understandably a cause for concern,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jeff Stocco. “The safety of all campus community members is of critical importance. I have been working closely with President Jack R. Ohle, the senior College leadership team, Director of Campus Safety Ray Thrower, and other Student Affairs staff members to respond to the incidents.”

Campus Safety has deployed increased personnel to assist in heightened patrolling on campus. Several services and processes are in place at Gustavus to prevent and address such situations, including a Campus SafeRide escort program between 6 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. daily, as well as on-call safety officer escorts, 24-7 locked residential halls, a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team), and several educational awareness programs.

Today, Monday, March 7, at 5 p.m., all students, faculty, and staff are invited to a campus-only forum to receive further updates and to ask questions. Please note that this is a private forum for students, faculty, and staff only. Media will not be permitted access.