UPDATE 9:57 a.m. (11/16/21): The Virginia Tech Police Department issued another campus alert on Monday about a sexual assault on campus, marking the fourth assault reported to the university in the course of a week.
According to campus police, a sexual assault was reported on Sunday, Nov. 14 that involved two Virginia Tech students who were acquaintances prior to the incident.
The department says the assault took place early Sunday morning in the area of West Ambler Johnson Hall.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Over the course of the last week, Virginia Tech issued multiple alerts to the Hokie community following three reports about sexual assaults that occurred on campus.
According to the Virginia Tech Police Department, a sexual assault was reported on Sunday, Nov. 7 between two Virginia Tech students who were previous acquaintances. The assault took place in Payne Hall between the evening of Saturday, Nov. 6 and early the following morning, officials say.
Then, on Thursday, Nov. 11, another sexual assault report was filed with campus police, this one involving an incident that occurred in West Ambler Johnston Hall in the early morning hours between Sunday, Oct. 24 and Tuesday, Oct. 26. The department says the victim and the alleged offender were acquaintances prior to the assault.
The most recent sexual assault reported by the Virginia Tech Police Department came in on Saturday, Nov. 13. According to police, the assault took place in the West End Market area on Saturday, Nov. 6 between two people who had met earlier in the evening.
Virginia Tech says this information is being released in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act requiring all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near campus.
Campus police urge students not to engage in sexual activities without communicating your limits, understanding your partner’s limits, and receiving affirmative consent.
According to the university, the Student Code of Conduct defines consent as “knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. The existence of consent is based on the totality of circumstances, including the context in which the alleged consent occurred. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent and coercion, force, or threat of either party invalidates consent. Consent cannot be given where a person is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol; or where a person has a disability, or is not of legal age to consent as defined by law. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.”
The Hokie community has received warnings about a number of other on-campus sexual assaults reported to the Virginia Tech Police Department since late August:
- A sexual assault from Thursday, Aug. 19 outside of West Ambler Johnston Hall between two Virginia Tech students who were acquaintances prior to the incident.
- A sexual assault from Friday, Aug. 20 in the Lane Stadium parking lot between two Virginia Tech students who did not know each other prior to the incident.
- Two sexual assaults from Friday, Aug. 27 on the Drillfield during the Kickoff Concert. The victims are Virginia Tech students who did not know the alleged offender prior to the incident.
- The Virginia Tech Police Department issued another alert on Thursday, Sept. 9 saying that additional sexual assaults were reported from Friday, Aug. 27 that occurred on the Drillfield inside the dense crowd during the Kickoff Concert. However, the affiliation of the victims and alleged offenders is unknown at this time.
- A sexual assault from Friday, Sept. 3 inside Lane Stadium, but the victim and the alleged offender did not know each other prior to the incident.
- A sexual assault from Saturday, Sept. 18 in Hoge Hall between two Virginia Tech students who were acquaintances prior to the incident.
- Two sexual assaults between Sunday, Oct. 10 and Monday, Oct. 11 in Pritchard Hall between two people who were acquaintances prior to the incidents. The same two people were involved in both incidents. In addition, police say the alleged offender is a student.
- A sexual assault from Friday, Oct. 22 in West Ambler Johnston Hall between two Virginia Tech students who were acquaintances prior to the incident.
- A sexual assault involving illegal touching from Saturday, Oct. 23 inside Lane Stadium between two Virginia Tech students. However, the nature of the relationship between the victim and the alleged offender is unknown at this time.
This news comes after Virginia Tech announced that university President Tim Sands and the new Sexual Violence Culture and Climate Work Group met for the first time on Friday, Nov. 12 with the goal of developing a framework for sustainable cultural transformation on campus.
During the group’s meeting last week, officials say Sands emphasized the importance of establishing sexual violence prevention as a shared responsibility for the entire university.
In addition, Sands reportedly noted the need to understand the scope and effectiveness of existing programs and activities in order to determine any extra work or resources that are needed to support and engage the campus community, including the opportunities identified by the university’s 2019 End Sexual Violence Task Force.
According to the university, the work group was also asked to consider opportunities to embrace a culture of increased transparency and enhance campus communication beyond the current legal, federal, and state requirements.
“The group’s initial focus is undergraduate students who can be reached through targeted education and prevention efforts during their orientation activities,” Virginia Tech said in a statement on Monday, Nov. 15. “Sands’ charge also noted that programs and services for graduate students and employees will be addressed in the near future, in order to actively engage the greater campus community in the shared goal to improve campus climate and culture around sexual violence prevention.”
For more information about the safety, security, and resources available to students impacted by sexual assault at Virginia Tech, click here.
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