By Mariana Ionova
A Pitman Hall resident was arrested after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female resident last weekend.
The victim, who lives in upper Pitman, reported the alleged assault to campus security on Oct. 2. Shortly after, Toronto police were contacted and the attacker was detained and charged.
Police are still investigating the incident, according to Imre Juurlink, supervisor of Security and Emergency Services.
The suspect of the investigation has been expelled from Pitman Hall and no longer poses a threat to students in the residence, according to an email from Chad Nuttall, manager of Student Housing. Although the suspect has not been convicted of the crime, residence policy states that any residents who violate the Residence Community standards can be evicted.
Glen Weppler, director of Student Community Life, emphasized that students’ safety is of utmost importance to the university.
He said staff in residences are trained to aid students both in reporting and coping with such serious incidents.
“Safety has to be priority one, no question about it,” he said.
”It is the most important consideration we take into account when doing our planning and in our operations.”
But the alleged assault still raised concerns about residence safety among students living in Pitman.
“I heard about an assault on the 12th floor and it got me pretty worried,” said Carly Quintyn, a first-year sociology student.
But Quintyn still feels like Pitman Hall is a relatively safe place to live.
“I would have never thought about that happening here,” she said.
“I feel pretty safe.”
Reports of such incidents are not common in residence and on campus though, according to Ryerson security.
“It’s very, very rare,” Juurlink said.
“But that’s not to say that it couldn’t happen without people reporting it.”
Failure to report such incidents is common and poses a problem for prevention, added Juurlink.
“Many sexual assaults go unreported,” Nuttall said.
“I must commend the strength of the victim for coming forward.”
Residents who are concerned about the incident are advised to talk to their residence advisor or to look at Safety Nets, a list of support resources compiled by the Centre for Student Development and Counselling at Ryerson.
Photo by: Tim Alamenciak