Possible Changes Coming After 3 Sexual Assaults Reported At Utah State University On Night Of ‘HOWL’ Party

Oct 28, 2019, 9:21 PM | Updated: 9:23 pm
FILE: Utah State University...
FILE: Utah State University

LOGAN, Utah — Officials at Utah State University are considering changes to the USU’s biggest party of the year after three sexual assaults were reported in one night.

All three alleged incidents were reported Friday night, the same night as the “HOWL” — the university’s annual Halloween party.

While the reported assaults haven’t necessarily been connected to the HOWL, school officials are still looking at ways to make on-campus parties safer in the future.

Students got email and text alerts about the incidents on Saturday morning.

Students got email and text alerts about the incidents on Saturday morning.

“When I first got it in an email I was scared honestly,” said student McCall Taylor. “I wasn’t too worried for my safety. I was concerned for others who I knew had gone to the party though.”

“I was just kind of surprised that there were three. I wasn’t expecting there to be that many,” said student Halle Dunkley.

Police received two reports of fondling and one report of rape and said all three cases are separate and under investigation.

“We know that they happened on campus and so that’s why we sent our the timely warning notice,” said Amanda DeRito, who handles crisis communications for USU.

It’s the third time this school year students have gotten an alert about a sexual assault on campus.

“I like getting the alerts just so I know what’s going on and what’s happening so I know how to be safe,” said student Kambree Knowles.

“That is the goal. It’s to make students more alert, more aware of these crimes and how to reduce not only their risk but the risk to others of being a victim of these crimes,” DeRito said.

Saturday was the first time a sexual assault alert has been sent out the weekend of the HOWL.

Some students said they decided beforehand to avoid the party.

“I’ve heard from other people who have gone in the past about certain things that have happened and it sounded kind of scary to me so I just wanted to stay away from that kind of environment just in case it did happen to me,” said Taylor.

Monday morning, university officials had a safety meeting to decide if there are any changes they can make to the HOWL and other events like it.

“We talked about policing patterns, where police are. Do we need to change those things? Lighting on the dance floor and also surveillance cameras and changing the technology we have inside the HOWL,” DeRito said.

DeRito said there are no plans to cancel the HOWL in the future. She hopes all of USU’s safety efforts and more awareness from students will be enough to reduce crime.

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Possible Changes Coming After 3 Sexual Assaults Reported At Utah State University On Night Of ‘HOWL’ Party