Student sexually assaulted on campus, raises concern for student safety


Hilltop Views Archives

St. Edward’s students represent “It’s On Us” in a protest against sexual assault.

College campuses and areas surrounding them are often targets for sexual assault incidents due to the high concentration of people. Unfortunately, an incident occurred on the St. Edward’s University campus when a student was sexually assaulted in the Hilltopper Heights apartment buildings on Woodward Street on Nov. 7. 

The university sent out an email on Nov. 10 informing students and faculty when the incident took place and that the university police department was handling the situation. 

The email sent out to students and faculty stated, “On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, UPD received a report that on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 between the hours of 04:30 am and 06:30 am, an unknown male entered an apartment at the Hilltopper Heights Apartments and sexually assaulted a student inside.” The email then mentioned the university’s stance on issues like this.“UPD firmly believes that crime is never the fault of the victim,” the email said. The university is taking this opportunity to advise students and faculty on safety tips they can take to hopefully prevent another situation like this.

Safety tips advised by UPD included avoid walking alone, secure your homes by locking doors and windows and report any suspicious activity noticed by calling 512-448-8444 for on-campus issues or 9-1-1 for off-campus issues.

While the details of how this incident was able to happen are currently unknown, many students have felt very rattled by the situation. According to a KXAN article, many students have felt understandably scared by the recent incident. Another assault occurred in the same building back in August, and there currently is no security measure or check-in that is required to enter the complex. 

As of Nov. 11, the suspect is still being searched for in the investigation. The university said in a statement to KXAN that they are working with the Austin Police Department, SAFE Alliance and the Texas Department of Public Safety regarding the investigation. 

While it is a good thing that the university quickly notified students and faculty about the incident, it is scary and unsettling that there is no required check-in for the complex’s residents, even after a previous assault earlier this year. I hope that this incident will prompt management in the complex to create safer security measures for its residents in order to prevent similar future incidents. Hopefully,more information will come out with university and residence personnel stating what they plan to do in the future after this incident.