Safety on Augustana College campus - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Safety on Augustana College campus

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For the first time, the Education Department has revealed a list of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for how they handle campus sex assault claims. The White House says it's part of an effort to bring more attention to the issue of sexual violence.

KSFY wanted to see how campuses right here in South Dakota handle campus safety.

College -- it's many students first time living on their own. Some call it the first taste of freedom. But, it can leave some students vulnerable.

The White House has said that as many as 1 in 5 female college students are assaulted.

Faculty at Augustana College want to make sure all of its students feel safe on campus.

"I work late sometimes at night and I come back around 10 or 11 when it's dark out and I feel like the campus security is always around and always there if you need them -- and also there's lighting everywhere and there's the assistance poles," said Alyssa Hendrickson, Augustana College Freshman.

Hypothetically, you are walking on campus and find yourself in a compromising situation -- there are poles situated around campus that have emergency buttons. Press it and campus security is immediately notified and dispatched to the area.
"If having one on campus for 10 years and it's used once and it assists a victim or survivor of sexual assault, it'll be worth it," said Jim Bies, Dean of Students at Augustana College.

But, not all Augie students think the college is doing enough to protect its students.
"I've heard of friends saying they've been taken advantage at parties and so it's a problem. But I'm not sure yet of the right way to address it or if they're doing it because campus safety people are  blown out of proportion and no one takes them seriously and the issue never really gets resolved," said Ashley-Marie Paladie, Augustana College Sophomore.

"We really strive to provide a staff that's approachable , accessible and just readily available whenever an emergency should occur," said Bies.

Bies goal -- make Augustan's campus an environment in which students can feel comfortable to voice their concerns.
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