Closings and delays

5 UNCG rape alert emails so far this year alarm students

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Students on the University of North Carolina Greensboro campus are upset by the numerous sexual assault alerts they’ve received by email from campus police to start the semester.

For students, it’s something they’re not used to and they perceive it as a problem on campus.

“I chose UNCG because I heard it was a very safe campus and had a good reputation, but now I'm starting to see things a little differently,” said Justin Unegbu.

Unegbu is a third-year student who said he saw about as many rape alerts in his first two years on campus as he has so far this year.

For UNCG Police Chief Jamie Herring, the reaction is not a surprise. He said he expected new reporting policies to result in an uptick of reports.

“We knew there was going to be an increase in notices that went out to the campus community and we try to explain that in the notices but a lot of people, they don't read past the first paragraph,” said Herring.

The email alerts explain the federal law behind the reporting and also contain safety tips.

“As far as the alerts, I want people to be concerned because I want people to understand that we're putting these out to make you aware to get you to understand there are threats out there,” said Herring.

Herring said in most reported rapes, the victim and the accuser know each other. He said talking about boundaries with a partner before sexual activity begins is recommended.

As for random attacks, police hope students take advantage of a new public safety app now available on campus called LiveSafe. Jenny Lee and Akecia Steward are one of 2,780 students who have signed up for the program and are able to keep tabs on each other’s path home via the app.

“It really helps because I always worry about my friends when they’re walking home late,” said Steward.