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Sacramento State students march for change after sexual assaults on campus

Multiple sexual assaults were reported on campus last semester.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Students at Sacramento State University are making a push for increased safety on campus after reports of multiple sexual assaults on campus last semester.

Thursday night, students marched throughout campus to stand in solidarity with assault survivors and call for action.

"We have a right to not be scared at night," dozens of students chanted as they walked through the pathways. 

"These pathways that we chose are major walk, ways but they're also some of the darkest on campus. There's very little light," said Ellen Bezanson, president of the College Democrats at Sacramento State.

Two sexual assaults were reported on Sept. 23 and Oct. 5, 2022. The suspect is still on the run, who police say is not a Sacramento State student.

A third sexual assault was reported on Oct. 8 at Eureka Hall and another case happened at a computer lab on Oct. 27.

"I've definitely been worried about my safety ever since we've heard about these events on campus," said Jenn Galinato, a student in her third year at Sacramento State. 

"This is not easy, I've heard the stories. I have a story of my own," Galinato added. "It is a hard topic and it's a topic that impacts everyone."

The College Democrats at Sacramento State led the March Against Sexual Assault Thursday night in partnership with the President's office and other groups.

"I myself didn't feel safe walking to the library or to my night classes," said Bezanson.

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said he is committed to listening and taking action as he addressed students before the march.

Leading up to the event, the university held a student-led town hall in November, shortly after the assaults were announced.

"The students came to us and they said, 'We don't feel safe, we need help. We feel like there are places that are too dark here,' so we went to a place by Eureka Hall and changed the lighting so that students feel safer there," said Nelsen.

Last month, Nelsen released a Sexual Violence Prevention, Safety and Support Action Plan. The plan includes additional resources for survivors and the hiring of additional complaint response staff and safety escorts.

Nelsen walked with students during Thursday's march.

"I really appreciate the students. I appreciate them stepping forward and we will make sure that we are safe," he said.

Students said this is not the end of their fight for change. They plan to host more events to keep the momentum going.

Students in need of sexual assault resources on campus can access confidential counseling services by calling 916-278-6461 to make an appointment.

The administration also encourages students to report crimes and suspicious activity to Sacramento State Police at 916-278-6000. 


How Sacramento State is responding to rise in sexual assaults on campus

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