Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas released the following email
message to the campus community on September 29 addressing the steps
being taken regarding the recent sexual assaults near the Allendale Campus.
"We as a community have been devastated by the news of
another reported sexual assault near our campus. One assault is one
too many, and I assure all of you and your families that finding
resolution is our highest priority.
The safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost
concern to university administrators, and we are moving quickly to
enhance and implement measures to prevent assaults near the
Our Grand Valley Police Department is working closely with the
Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office to both investigate these assaults
and to prevent others. Ottawa County has beefed up patrols in the
areas surrounding our campus and around the apartment complexes
where many of our students live. The Grand Valley Police Department
is increasing police presence on campus, especially on nights and weekends.
Because we know this takes more than police presence, we are
meeting today with property managers from area apartment complexes
to outline steps we believe they should take to ensure the safest
possible living environments for our students. Our campus police are
working with our facilities staff to increase security measures on
campus. We will move quickly to identify areas that may need more
lighting, additional security cameras or monitoring.
While enhancing security and encouraging safe practices is
practical and necessary, we want to reinforce to our community
members that the perpetrator is the only person responsible for a
sexual assault. That said, we encourage students to be aware of
their surroundings, take precautions and take advantage of the SafeWalk
Be an active bystander – if you see something, say something.
We need to work together to stop sexual assaults.
Tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand River Room in Kirkhof
Center, there will be a Town Hall discussion about college sexual
assault. Leaders from the Student Senate, Eyes Wide Open, Greeks
Against Sexual Assault and Victim Advocate Ashley Schulte from the
Women’s Center will host a conversation about safety, sexual assault
and what we can do together.
We will communicate any meaningful updates to you on our
overall efforts regarding safety, prevention and education, and I am
confident that with our continued focus on this issue, we can create
a safe learning and living environment for our community."