“There is definitely an element of fear that went with knowing that it’s happening in a small community like this,” Riah Safady, women’s resource coordinator at SOU said.
The email was sent last week from the campus department of public safety.
“My first reaction reading it definitely makes you feel a little uncomfortable and think ‘Oh, I go to these bars and I’m part of this town and this could of totally happened to me,'” senior Neisha Bhagwandin said.
Which is why the school took action quickly.
“I think it was more of a way for students to be aware of this had happened locally and to message around of being cautious knowing that there had been a recent incident,” Safady said.
Safady says after the email blast she made sure she was available to all students.
“We are part of the community so we are here to talk to students, we are here to respond to students if they need to come in and have additional support,” she said.
She also brought up the issue in her sexual violence prevention presentations.
“Made sure they were aware of that and answered any questions or concerns that came up for them at the moments,” Safady said.
As for Bhagwandin she understands the dangers of going out, but she feels more comfortable knowing her community cares just as much as she does.
“We’re lucky to live in a community that cares so much about it and bringing light to this and doing something about it.”
We spoke to Ashland police but they’ve said they have not seen any reports of this issue.