Wake up call

Assault serves as a reminder to be aware

On Oct. 23, the first attempted sexual assault by a stranger in recent Ferris history was reported.

At approximately 8:10 p.m., a female student walking on the sidewalk near South Campus apartments was grabbed and dragged into the bushes by an unknown male. The victim was able to fight off her attacker and run for help. Two weeks later, Dept. of Public Safety is continuing it’s investigation, but no new information has surfaced.

When I read the campus wide notice about the assault, I was in disbelief. Just two weeks prior, I’d written an article following the release of the annual campus crime report. Caption. Jim Cook of the Ferris DPS informed me that it had been years since a forcible sexual offense by a stranger had occurred. I left my interview with him thinking what a safe place Ferris was, thinking how lucky I am to go to a school where I don’t have to fear for my safety.

Flash forward two weeks, and I’m staring in shock at the alert on the MyFSU homepage. A girl just like me—a girl who could have been me—was snatched right off the sidewalk and forced to fight for her life.

She wasn’t drunkenly wandering some dark alley on the wrong side of town. She hadn’t foolishly gotten into a stranger’s car. No, she was simply headed to the Student Rec Center for a quick workout before she turned in for the night—a reasonable thing to do and a reasonable time to do it at. How could she have known there was anything to fear?

In all honesty, I wouldn’t have thought anything of walking across campus at 8 p.m. In fact, in my days of living in the residence halls, there was more than one occasion I walked by myself much further and much later at night. Never once did I worry for my safety. Looking back now, how could I have been so ignorant?

This attack was a wakeup call. This predator may have assaulted just one woman, but his actions and this event should impact the lives of all Ferris students. Allow this to serve as a reminder, a reminder of the dangers that can be found in even the seemingly safest of places.

In a perfect world, you could walk wherever you wanted whenever you wanted to. In a perfect world, you’d never have to worry about your safety because there wouldn’t be anyone who wanted to do you harm. In a perfect world, an attack like this would have never happened.

But this isn’t a perfect world. Rather, this is a world with bad people who do bad things. All anyone, including Ferris students, can do is be vigilant. Make a constant effort to be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for one another, and watch out for yourself.