The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Students express concern after multiple instances of on-campus crime

AlertVU emails were sent on June 8 and June 24 about the tampering of cameras outside of several West End neighborhood houses and an assault of a female student outside of Featheringill Hall, respectively.
Ophelia Lu
A fall afternoon on Greek Row, as captured on Sept. 30, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu)

Editor’s note: This piece contains mention of sexual assault.

Students received two security notices regarding a case of vandalism and aggravated assault on campus on June 8 and June 24, respectively. The second incident was originally reported to students as a robbery but was later re-classified.

Students expressed distress about the notices, especially with the June 24 alert given its graphic description of events.

The AlertVU system notified students on June 24 that a female student was assaulted while walking outside of Featheringill Hall, close to Stevenson Center, at 10:47 p.m. CDT that evening. The email reads that the student noticed a man walking behind her, after which he ran after her, tackled her and choked her, asking if she wanted him to rape her. It states that the student fought off the attacker and then ran from the scene.

In a message to The Hustler, a representative for VUPD stated that the aggravated assault is “very concerning” and the department is actively investigating the incident, which it will provide updates on as more information becomes available. The representative did not elaborate on why the incident was originally categorized as a robbery, stating that it was reclassified “upon further investigation.”

Junior Gina Yu, who is working on campus during the summer, said she was disturbed by the content of the AlertVU message but not completely surprised.

“As an undergraduate researcher here on campus, assaults and news like this [occur] all too often,” Yu said. “Not only do I feel a heightened sense of anxiety and fear to be on campus late at night now, but I fear for the [Research Experiences for Undergraduates] and out-of-state students who aren’t aware of these events and/or may be staying on campus.” 

Junior Zoë Barron said the alert was especially troubling given that it occurred in the middle of campus.

Violence against women is tragically very common, but it’s unsettling to see it breach boundaries that otherwise felt secure, like a college campus,” Barron said. “I always have that ‘sixth sense’ on, that hyper-alertness at night, but I never walk across campus believing I will actually have to use it.”

Earlier this month, students received another email from VUPS regarding a man covering security cameras at the Kappa Delta, Kappa Alpha, the National Panhellenic Council and the Delphi houses, as well as the K.C. Potter Center of LGBTQI Life, with opaque tape. NPHC fraternities resided in the Delphi house before they moved to their present house in 2019.

“VUPD is continuing to work with law enforcement partners in this matter and execute operational strategies to maintain the safety of the Vanderbilt community,” VUPD said in a message to The Hustler on June 12.

The AlertVU message stated that the cameras have been fixed and are functioning as normal.

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About the Contributors
Zach Joseph
Zach Joseph, Senior Staff Writer
Zach Joseph ('25) is from Chicago, Ill., and is majoring in law, history and society with a minor in Spanish in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the News section. Outside of writing for The Hustler, you can find him going for a run around campus or passionately watching soccer games. You can contact him at [email protected].
Ophelia Lu
Ophelia Lu, Deputy Photography Editor
Ophelia Lu (’26) is from Los Angeles and is double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering in the School of Engineering. She previously served as a staff photographer. When not covering events and sports games for The Hustler, you can find her listening to a lot of music, studying at Starbucks or lying on Alumni lawn. She can be reached at [email protected].
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