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Sexual assault reported at academic building

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A sexual assault reported at an academic building prompted University Police to issue a public safety notice Monday afternoon. And while some students received that notice multiple times, others didn’t get it at all.

The incident was reported at 9 p.m. Saturday by a female Ohio State student. It had occurred between 12:45 p.m. and 1:55 p.m. that day at Independence Hall.

The suspects were described as two white men. One was described as standing between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a red sweatshirt and glasses with spiked hair. The other was described as overweight with short red hair and acne scars on his face. He was wearing a red shirt and jeans.

The woman met the two suspects earlier in the day at a High Street bar, according to the public safety notice.

The investigation is open and ongoing, the notice said.

Some students said they got the notice — which was emailed out ­— twice, while others said they never received it.

Administration and Planning spokesman Dan Hedman said in a Monday email that everyone with a valid OSU email should have received the notice.

“Records indicate it was delivered to approximately 100,000 individuals,” Hedman said. “An unknown number may have received it twice, but our primary objective is to ensure the campus community is notified.”

Derek Yan, a first-year in biology who received the notice twice, once at 12:34 p.m. and then again at 1:58 p.m., said campus should be safer than it sometimes is.

“I think maybe the police should pay more attention, especially some place around campus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Buerling, a second-year in animal biosciences, said she never got the notice.

“It would be nice if we got an email saying if we did not receive (the notice), what we can do to go about receiving it,” she said.

Even so, Buerling said she doesn’t really see the point in getting public safety notices anyway.

“I definitely take them into consideration. I don’t necessarily think that just informing me of something automatically makes me safer, though,” she said.

The last public safety notice issued prior to Monday’s notice encountered technical issues as well.

That notice was issued Nov. 3 after a sexual assault was reported in a South Campus residence hall. It showed up for many as a blank email message because of “technical difficulties,” an official with the Department of Public Safety later said.

Even so, all public safety notices are posted online to the Department of Public Safety’s website.

There have been 10 public safety notices issued this year, five of which were issued this semester.

All five reported this semester dealt with crimes of a sexual nature.

About two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network website. OSU provides services for victims of sexual assault that include counseling, advocacy, wellness and health services through Student Life.

Buerling said she thinks security should be just as tight throughout the rest of campus as it is at the stadium, given the sexual assault reportedly occurred during the OSU-Michigan game Saturday, which was at Ohio Stadium.

“I definitely think that security is a lot more focused on the game in the stadium on gamedays,” Buerling said. “I know there are plenty of people who don’t go to the games, and I think those days should be secured just as well as any other days, but I bet they’re not.”

Ryan Cooper contributed to this story.

3 comments

  1. What were they even doing at Independence Hall of all the places?

  2. “The woman met the two suspects earlier in the day at a High Street bar, according to the public safety notice.”

    I’m confused by this statement. Did she plan to meet them there already knowing them or did she meet them for the first time there? Did they follow her back to campus without her knowledge?

  3. is this a news story or an opinion piece? Terrible.

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