Some colleges fall short fighting sexual assault

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new statewide review indicates that some local colleges might not be doing enough when it comes to handling sexual assault.

It’s a New York State law called “Enough is Enough” and tries to help protect students from sexual assault.

A new compliance review from the state found that RPI, among others, is not meeting the proper standards.

Every day hundreds of students walk to and from campus at RPI.

Jody Askaryan, a junior, is one of them.

“It’s a little scary sometimes.”

She says she tries to walk with friends and before dark, but it’s something she can’t always avoid.

“Walking alone isn’t the greatest,” Askaryan said.

In 2015, the Enough is Enough law was passed in the state.

A recent compliance review found that 14 schools in our region were rated compliant. Seven others were listed as significantly compliant.

RPI was one of three schools in our region, along with Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College, that came up “slightly short.”

Mary Clare-Crochiere, a junior, was surprised by the finding.

“All my neighbors, I’m pretty sure, are students and it feels pretty safe,” Clare-Crochiere said.

Another student, Brenden Forbes says he’s seen some suspicious activity first hand.

“I remember seeing this guy. There was a bunch of girls walking down the street and this guy was following right behind them. He was slowly behind them. Then they came walking the other way and he was slowly behind them,” Forbes said.

The school released the following statement:

“Rensselaer is committed to maintaining a campus environment that does not tolerate sexual assault and where allegations of any sexual misconduct are resolved in a thorough and fair manner.”

“I haven’t heard about those kinds of things, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen,” Rachel Doss, a senior, said.

Doss says she never feels unsafe, but she’s always careful.

“Those things happen no matter how nice the school looks, or how much you pay to go there, those things still happen,” Doss said.

The schools found not to be fully in compliance have 30 days to submit an action plan to the state.

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