Students still aware about security after incidents

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

Students seem to be relieved that an arrest has been made for the recent assaults, but many still vow to remain vigilant about safety.

“I was really relieved when they caught him,” said Mercedes Dalton, a freshman English education major. “I don’t know if I will feel safer, though, because (an attack) is still possible.”

Dalton said she thinks women will remain on heightened awareness until the end of the semester.

“Over time when there’s not a constant threat, it will go down,” Dalton said.

Kelli Hoff, Danielle McCollam and Courtney Trooien – three female students who live in Binnewies Hall – said it was about time that someone was arrested for the assaults.

“I definitely didn’t leave my room by myself at night,” Hoff said.

The freshman pre-nursing major said the assaults were especially shocking since they happened in a town like Brookings.

“I never thought of it, and all of a sudden, (the assaults) started happening,” Hoff said.

Heather Stripling, a freshman early childhood education major, said she was “seriously freaking out” after the latest incident. She said that she understood that during the investigation the police needed to keep some things secret, but now, she feels the university and police should provide more answers.

“Now I want to know the facts,” she said.

Though the assault victims were women, even some campus men became more cautious in the past few weeks.

“When I started seeing the posters around, I did start looking around more,” said Caleb Distel, a junior clinical laboratory major. “It was probably me being a bit more paranoid, but that never hurts.”

Distel said he was concerned for his female friends, and he made sure that his sister did not go places alone at night.

Brock Sanderson, a senior nursing major, said he too was concerned for women on campus. Sanderson said he was “completely surprised” that someone was arrested for the assaults.

“I was concerned that he would not be caught,” he said. “I thought he’d be here for a couple weeks and then be gone.”

Despite the arrest, several women said they will continue to take added security precautions, and they encouraged others to do the same. Allison Sewell, a sophomore pre-medicine and Spanish major, recommended that women still walk with someone at night and stay in lit areas.

“It’s was kind of amazing that even after the first two incidents how many young women were out late at night alone,” she said. “They didn’t think that could happen to them.”