University of Findlay takes stand against sexual assault - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

University of Findlay takes stand against sexual assault

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FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Sexual assault, stalking and dating violence can all be common occurrences on a college campus, but the University of Findlay (UF) is taking extra steps to make sure that's not the case there.

There's nothing like the freedom of being in college, but along with that independence sometimes comes danger.

"I walk from…a very far edge of campus to the opposite end of campus [after] midnight some nights," said Maria Kossman, a senior at UF.

"We have a very safe culture on campus," said Assistant Dean Matt Bruskotter. "We haven't seen any kind of increase in activities, particularly no increase in activity along the sexual assault or stalking arena."

The last two documented cases of sexual assault at UF occurred in 2012. There have been none this year, but school officials want to be proactive, and are using $287,000 in grant money to better prepare students and staff in case there is an incident.

"If a student is a victim of a sexual assault on campus, they can go right to our health center, any time, day or night," Bruskotter said.

And the university is training all of its nurses to become ‘SANE' – sexual assault examiners. Safe rooms are also in the works for temporary, alternative housing for victims.

"You never know," said Freshman Peter Yorgen. "Anything can happen on campus. You might as well be prepared."

Starting next school year there will be an awareness course available online to educate incoming freshmen about preventing and reporting incidents.

"College really should be all about learning, determining what you're going to be in your life, making friends and having new experiences," Bruskotter said. "That all needs to be done in an environment that's safe and comfortable for students."

The University of Findlay is the only Ohio university to receive the three-year grant this year.

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