By Cameron Siefkes
Winfield Police are investigating a rape involving students according to the Winfield Daily Courier.
The alleged rape happened sometime between the evening of Sept. 12 and the morning of Sept. 13.
Dan Falk, dean of students, would not comment on the specifics of this case.
The Southwestern College Policy Manuel lists rape under a level three incident. For this level of violation students can be subjected to a number of sanctions including individual student suspension and expulsion.
Falk said, “We have a good handle on this situation, but in general students really need to be careful and aware all of the time.”
Falk stressed the importance of awareness for underclassman. “Particularly freshman are away from home and making decisions for the first time. You are supposed to have a good time, but there are safer ways to go about doing so,” said Falk.
He recognized the fact that Winfield is a smaller town where people wouldn’t expect an abundance of crime. However, Falk said Winfield is as affected by crime as often as a larger community.
Falk said any student who has been a victim of this sort of crime can report it to any resident director or assistant, Sarah Hallinan, director of residence life, or himself.
In an e-mail sent to the campus Sept. 17, Sara Weinert, vice president for communication, along with the office of residence life provided tips to ensure the safety of students. A list of those follows.
Cameron Siefkes is a senior majoring in communication you may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Always be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention if something does not look right.
2. If you choose to consume alcohol, drink responsibly – remember, your ability to respond is diminished by consumption of alcohol.
3. Do not accept any beverage that is unopened.
4. Do not let someone else prepare a beverage for you.
5. Diminish the opportunity for a crime to occur by avoiding placing yourself in environments where others will have the opportunity to commit a personal crime against you.
6. Always keep your doors and windows locked. Always let a friend or
roommate know where and with whom you will be and when you will be back when you go out.
7. If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you go to a populated place or yell for help.
8. Use well-lit and busy sidewalks.
9. Avoid walking alone or walking near vacant lots, alleys, construction sites and wooded areas.
10. Carry a cell phone, whistle or a personal alarm to alert people that
you need help. Try to park in an area that will be well-lit and heavily traveled when you return.
11. Stay alert at all times and call the police immediately to report suspicious activity.