Within the month of February, there had been five reported sexual assaults on Miami University’s campus. They occurred off-campus and on-campus, leaving many students and faculty to question why the number of assaults have increased in this past month. However, Miami is not alone in these attacks.

The Ohio State University recently lost one of its students to sexual assault: Reagan D. Tokes. Tokes was kidnapped, assaulted and murdered by Brian Golsby. In The Ohio State University President Michael Drake’s full statement, he told his students, “As always, the safety and well-being of our community is our first priority.” Many students took their campus’s law enforcement with a grain of salt; however, they did not realize how much this protection would mean to them in a time of tragedy.

Riley Sagan, a freshman at OSU, gave an insight on the change Tokes’ death has created on campus. “You’re always going to be affected by the death of someone at your school, even if you didn’t know them.” Sagan spoke to the fear murder and sexual assault on campus can instill.

The Ohio State University is known for its school spirit and size, raking in approximately 66,000 students for the school year of 2016. Just as Tokes’ rape and death affected all of OSU, so too have the increasing sexual assaults at Miami.

Miami University police department’s Chief of Police, John McCandless, discussed the commonality of sexual assaults on college campuses.

“College campuses are very safe places to be … We live in society, so we live where anything possible can happen,” McCandless said.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually attacked while attending a college campus. However, 90 percent of these assaults are not reported.

The question is, have victims become more comfortable to step forward and report, or are the assaults actually increasing?

McCandless remains unsure. “I would like to believe in a greater comfort level in victims. Could sexual assaults be increasing though? I guess.”

We can only hope so. Coming forward isn’t easy, but neither is living in fear.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Chief McCandless, on behalf of the entire Miami University police department, wants Miami students to know, “We really hope that anyone who’s been victimized knows they can call us.”

MUPD Phone Number: 513-529-2222