Student meeting with administrative members held after violent on-campus incident

Fixing residence hall doors, improving communication: students voiced concerns regarding on-campus safety

An Allegheny College student was assaulted by an armed man in Ravine-Narvik Hall at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, according to the Meadville Tribune. The identity of the man is currently unknown, and the city police are actively investigating the case, Meadville Police Chief Michael Tautin told the Tribune. 

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, students met in the Henderson Campus Center to voice questions and concerns regarding the violent incident, which has been listed as a rape on Allegheny’s daily crime log. Multiple members of Allegheny’s administration, including President Hilary Link and Dean of Students April Thompson, were present. 

Link opened the forum with a statement. She confirmed that the incident is currently being investigated and that student safety is of utmost importance. She also said that public safety presence around campus will be drastically increased, and additional measures, such as bringing additional security personnel to campus, will be taken. 

The forum opened to students for questions and comments, and various concerns were voiced. One concern was regarding the information included in the original campus-wide email sent around 5 a.m. on Tuesday — some students thought it was too vague, and others expressed concern with specific pieces of information that were and were not shared. 

The email said the Office of Public Safety was alerted about the incident at 3:30 a.m. It said the student was assaulted in their room in Ravine, and a description of the assailant was provided. Personal safety reminders, such as encouraging the use of campus blue light phones, contacting public safety to report suspicious persons and keeping doors locked at all times were also included on the email.  

Another prevalent concern was the safety of residence hall doors. After multiple students said their doors don’t lock properly, were broken or regularly propped open, Dean of Students April Thompson said the matter is a top priority. Students emphasized the importance of alerting resident advisers to put in work orders for broken doors. 

Additional concerns included the lack of a text message alert to students, potential changes or flexibility to finals schedules and the improvement of lighting around campus. 

Link sent an additional email to Allegheny students at 10:26 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The email said that since the incident, Link and her leadership team have increased 24/7 patrols, begun addressing issues with doors around campus, checked in with residents of Ravine to assure their safety and wellbeing, and communicated available resources to students with the student, parent and employee community. 

My team and I are devastated by what happened,” the email read. “We have been working throughout the day, focusing our work in three areas: To be there for our student and her family and friends. To support everyone in our community who has been affected. And to do everything we can to support efforts to apprehend the attacker.”