Report of sexual assault raises safety concerns at CMU

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Some Colorado Mesa University students are expressing concerns about safety after hearing about a report of a sexual assault on campus last weekend.

"It's unacceptable," said Jeremy Coquoz, a junior at CMU. "It's a tragedy in and of itself any time something like that occurs."

CMU sent out a school-wide alert letting students know about a reported sexual assault that may have happened on campus and could have involved alcohol or drug use, which is a topic that Coquoz said could be covered more thoroughly at the school.

"I think it would be a really, really good thing on campus to have because especially freshman coming in that don't really know what's going on. They can get into a situation where they just can't take care of themselves," he said about alcohol and drug education.

The incident is still under investigation, but CMU students are stepping up and offering to walk their peers home no matter the time of day after seeing a complaint on Facebook.

"I actually got a few messages from girls saying when they're leaving the gym late at night that they'd love somebody to walk them home because they see a lot of sketchy things going on," said Brady Dean, a trained MMA fighter and CMU student who said on Facebook that he would be willing to walk people home at any time.

Using the buddy system when walking home late at night is one way to stay safe, said Kate Porras, of the Grand Junction Police Department.

"Have someone with you at parties that is not going to be drinking that can be the eyes and ears for the group to make sure everyone is staying safe," Porras said.

CMU does have a campus safety assistant program. which students can call for an escort between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. at (970) 260-2683.

The school has temporarily suspended non-student guests from being allowed in Rait, Tolman and Walnut Ridge residence halls, where the school said the sexual assault may have happened.

Nobody from the school was available for comment on the investigation or campus safety measures Friday.

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