Klamath Hall residents’ concerns for safety following sexual assaults

Extra precautions taken for on-campus living students


Alyssa Branum

Klamath Hall, located on Sacramento State’s campus Thursday, March 20, 2023. Klamath Hall houses over 200 first-year students and acts as a co-ed resident hall.

Tobi Fakunle

Klamath Hall is a first-year co-ed dorm that houses about 200 students. For many students living at Klamath Hall, like first-year biology major Sophia Linden, this is the beginning of their independence from their homes.

“This is my first time living away from my parents and for something this extreme to happen is terrifying,” Linden said. “I am scared to go out at night because the sexual assault was so close to where I sleep.” 

With recently reported occurrences of sexual assault on and around student housing, Sac State has hosted two town halls within a year focused on sexual assault prevention. Some students living on campus are now taking extra safety measures when strolling about campus. 

Linden said she and her roommate use a buddy system when walking at night. They also purchased pepper spray and tasers to protect themselves, she said

The feeling of anxiousness also hits home for first-year economic major Aurora Collins. She said she can’t wait for the semester to be over because it means she’ll no longer be at risk of getting assaulted on campus.  

“I’ve been scared since the very first assault last fall,” Collins said. “I hope they catch whoever [the assailant] is because I just want to feel safe in a place where I pay thousands of dollars to go to sleep and live.”

Bleike Staten, a first-year exercise science student who lives at Klamath Hall said he did not hear or know about the alleged assault.

Staten, who describes himself as a bigger person, said he feels safe because of his appearance. But for his peers who are smaller, and could be targeted due to their size, he understands their fears.

He said he still takes precautions to protect himself on campus, staying cautious of where he’s walking when near Klamath and always observing his surroundings.

“I make sure I keep my head on a swivel,” he said. “When I am in my room, I make sure that the door is locked.” 

Some residents of Klamath Hall said they were notified about the incident through an email in February. 

Zachary Cobo, a first-year film major residing at Klamath Hall, instead said he heard about the incident through social media. Cobo said he feels safe for the most part and hasn’t really heard much talk about the incident around Klamath Hall. 

Weeks before spring break, there was a sexual assault reported to the Sacramento State police department; in response, residents of Klamath Hall, where the assault took place, are fearful for their safety. 

The report was described as “oral copulation by use of force/injury – intimidation, rape by force/fear/etc, false imprisonment and touching person intimately against will for sexual arousal” on Feb. 21.

Another incident was reported at Klamath Hall to Sac State police on March 27 and was reported a day later. The report was described as a “rape by force/etc.” 

In response to the numerous sexual assaults on campus this year, Sac State recently hired a second WEAVE advocate to support and advocate for students. WEAVE, a third-party non-profit organization, provides support for survivors of sexual assault.

Samuel L. Jones, the director of housing at Sacramento State said he could not comment on the assault or what housing is doing in response because of an “open and ongoing investigation.”