UPDATE – Sexual Assault Reported In UM Residence Hall – President’s Office Comments
UPDATE - 12:00 noon, Wednesday, October 19
After a non-stranger sexual assault was reported on the UM campus on Tuesday, KGVO News spoke with Paula Short, Director of Communications for the President's office.
"We immediately consulted with law enforcement, both the University of Montana Police Department, and we also brought in the Missoula Police department," Short said. "An active investigation is underway which precludes me from sharing a lot of information, however, the decision was made yesterday evening to send a timely alert to students to let them know what had happened, and to raise their situational awareness about their own safety on campus."
Short said the procedures adopted by the University of Montana over the past few years has better enabled the administration to react promptly to any report of sexual assault.
"Certainly, all of the measures that the university has undertaken in the last three years have done a lot to boost the awareness on campus," she said. "All the training we do for students, the bystander training and sexual assault training has done a lot to raise awareness of just exactly what defines an assault, and what kinds of behaviors and situations might elevate a risk, and I certainly believe that all the efforts the university has undertaken have been very proactive in addressing sexual assault on campus. In fact, we've been consulted by other universities wanting to model some of the things that we've put in place here. I think we're doing a good job, but unfortunately, these situations still exist, and when they arise, the university responds the best way that we can."
The University of Montana Office of Public Safety issued a campus wide email on Tuesday night.
'The University of Montana is aware of a report of a non-stranger sexual assault that occurred in a UM residence hall. Residence hall students are encouraged to be alert regarding non-resident visitors in the residence halls. Campus safety information is available on the UM website. Additional student support resources include SARC, Curry Health Center Counseling Services, and UM Police. The university will release more information as it becomes available.'
KGVO has reached out to Paula Short, Director of Communications for the UM President's Office for a comment.