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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Continued vigilance: campus safety challenges beyond the ‘Red Zone’

Students ask for more education on available resources
Analah Wallace
The ‘Red Zone’ is the time on college campuses between dorm move-in and Thanksgiving break when sexual assaults are more likely to occur. Sacramento State has multiple resources to support survivors. (Graphic created in Canva by Analah Wallace)

The sexual assault “Red Zone” is the time between dorm move-in and Thanksgiving break when over 50% of sexual assaults occur on college campuses.

There have been three reported sexual assaults on Sacramento State’s campus during the fall 2023 “Red Zone” period.

RELATED: In the ‘Red Zone’: what resources does the campus offer survivors?

Between August and October, three incidents were reported, a sexual assault at Jenkins Hall on Aug. 31, indecent exposure in parking lot 7 on Sept. 11 and a reported rape at Riverview Hall on Oct. 1.

According to the Sacramento State Police Department activity logs, there have been a total of 14 calls for service that resulted in sexual misconduct reports on campus since the start of the 2022-2023 academic term.

Che Muños, a senior communications major, said he was saddened to hear about the “Red Zone” and the impact it has on campus.

“It makes me a little sad because I love Sac State. I’ve been going here for four years at this point,” Muños said. “It just sucks to see that at this time of year, it’s just so prevalent.”

Sayra Razo, a social work graduate student, said she thought the administration was doing a good job addressing sexual assaults on campus.

“Anywhere that you go in public, it’s not always going to be safe,” Razo said. “But I feel like they are doing what they need to do and addressing it and trying to do something about it.”

Makayla Rhone, a freshman kinesiology major, said she felt safe on campus.

“I feel like everyone’s kind of like in their own bubble,” Rhone said. “I feel like I’m just going to do my own thing and haven’t come to a setting where I didn’t feel safe.”

However, not everyone said they were completely comfortable on campus. One particular concern for Berenice Nunez, a junior criminal justice major, is the lack of lighting throughout campus at night.

“There is a lack of lighting all over campus, especially in the parking lots,” Nunez said. “I live across the street, so I walk in the pitch black and use my phone to light the path. On campus it’s ok but out in the parking lots it’s non-existent.”

Since the beginning of the semester the university has installed more lighting around buildings and pathways around campus. One example of new lighting is on the tree covered pathways in the quad across from Riverfront Hall.

Diana Gamboa, a junior studying biology major, said that the supportive services that Sac State provides do not adequately address sexual misconduct during this crucial period.

“I don’t see much of the help that they provide. They do have an email service, we can talk about the experience,” Gamboa said. “At the same time, it’s not preventing the actual act of assault happening.”

Muños hadn’t heard of any resources available on campus.

“I don’t know of any services,” Muños said. “I don’t see any advertised and it’s not something I’m aware of, I think advertising those services would be a lot better.”

Sac State currently offers multiple resources to all within the campus community, including The Office for Equal Opportunity, Title IX, campus police and the WEAVE confidential advocates. The campus offers the Hornet Safety Escort service for students who don’t feel safe walking alone on campus at night.

Muños encouraged people to be more comfortable in speaking out about sexual misconduct.

“I definitely don’t think it should be stigmatized and people should feel comfortable to talk about it,” Muños said. “What they could be doing better is just offering way more services and publicizing those services a lot more.”

Gamboa said she also wanted the campus to do a better job of making students aware of resources.

“I think they should share those resources more because I like to be aware of certain resources on campus,” Gamboa said. “I’ve never heard of any of that. It’s a bit unfortunate.”

Rhone said she was glad that the university’s culture had shifted towards accountability and awareness. Some of the changes the Sac State has enacted include hiring a second WEAVE confidential advocate and pledging to hire seven more counselors to increase student access to mental health services.

“I feel like we’re showing a lot of awareness of it, they’re making a bigger deal about it,” Rhone said.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual violence or domestic violence there are campus and county resources to assist in recovery.

Additional reporting by Jenn Galinato.

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Michael Pepper, News Staffer
(he/him/they/them) Michael Pepper is a senior transfer student majoring in journalism. He previously attended Cosumnes River College where he was a staff writer and sports editor for The Connection. This is his second semester with The State Hornet.
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