A reported sexual assault of a student on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville is sparking some concerns over security on campus.
It happened over the weekend at one of the dorms, and there is word that campus police are already speaking with a suspect.
University officials responded by sending out a notice to all students through emails and text messages to inform them of the crime. Students said they feel safe, but at the same time, the report of a sexual assault is serving as a reminder to remain vigilant.
The alleged sexual assault happened at Lewis Hall on the campus of TAMUK. Police said the young woman who made the report claims that the suspect was an acquaintance who she met the night before and was with her in her room early Saturday morning.
"We're still in the investigative stages, of course, of the event, talking to witnesses," University Police Chief Felipe Garza said, "and we've contacted the suspect cooperating in our investigation."
Police believe it was an isolated incident. However, campus officials want students to remain alert and know how to respond if they are faced with a similar situation.
Some students said they already take precautions.
"Depending on how late it gets, I make sure I walk back with someone," said Sarah Enriquez, who lives on campus. "If it's sunlight out, I'm okay. I always have my phone on hand and am always talking to my mom."
Currently, there are 14 University Police officers, including the chief, who patrol the campus. There are even emergency phones posted along walkways. The campus also provides a police escort service for anyone who doesn't feel safe walking from building to building at night.
"I feel very safe here on campus," TAMUK student Lianne Koczur said. "I'm always seeing campus and town police officers driving around, so it's really comforting."
Campus police say that, unfortunately, these types of crimes go unreported out of fear. They say that it is important for any victim to reach out for help as soon as possible.
For more information on campus safety programs, or to report a sexual assault, call the University Police Department at 361-593-2611.
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