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Two instances of assault reported last week

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Two instances of assault with intent to commit rape occurred on campus last week, according to police records. The first occurred on Friday at 1:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location. The second occurred on Saturday at 10 a.m. at a frosh dorm in Wilbur Hall. 

Both incidents were reported to the Stanford’s public safety department by a Campus Security Authority (CSA), a term that encompasses mandatory reporters of sexual misconduct, according to department spokesperson Bill Larson. He added that neither perpetrator had been identified. 

Asked whether an investigation had been opened, Larson wrote, “We have no additional information on either incident in order to open an investigation.”

The incidents come at a time of heightened attention to sexual assault on campus. A recent survey exposed a lack of confidence in University resources to address issues of sexual violence. Chanel Miller recently came forward publicly as the victim of a 2015 assault by former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, and students have called on the University to place quotes selected by Miller on a plaque in a garden at the site of the assault.

Stanford did not notify the campus community of either incident. Educational institutions must issue a “timely warning” for crimes including assault with intent to commit rape, which “represent an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees,” in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act. Stanford issues timely warnings through its AlertSU notification system. 

Larson wrote that a community alert was not issued because “we had no additional information on either incident in order to determine if there was an ongoing or significant threat to the community.” 

Emma Tsurkov, a fourth-year sociology Ph.D. student who serves as Associated Students of Stanford University co-director of sexual violence prevention, was critical of the lack of announcement, citing the prevalence of repeat offenders of sexual assault. 

“I think they didn’t weight student safety enough in the decision making,” Tsurkov said. “It’s hard for me to see the benefit of not providing the information.”

Contact Charlie Curnin at ccurnin ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Charlie Curnin '22 is a Managing Editor of News. Contact him at ccurnin ‘at’ stanford.edu.