Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Students share impact of recent assaults during campus forum

U-M students gathered Monday night to “share the impact of the recent attacks near campus and to come together as a community to receive support.”

That was how Holly Rider-Milkovich, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), described the forum at the Michigan Union attended by about 50 students. The event was organized by the Division of Student Affairs. Also participating were the Department of Public Safety and the Ann Arbor Police Department.

For further background about the recent assaults, updated campus messages, safety tips and other university resources click here.

During the 90-minute meeting, trained Division of Student Affairs staff facilitated conversation for several small groups of eight to 10 students. Counselors from SAPAC and Counseling and Psychological Services, the student counseling service, also were on hand.

Ann Arbor Police Deputy Chief John Seto and DPS Interim Chief Joseph Piersante emphasized the tremendous amount of department resources devoted to the joint investigation and to deterring future incidents. Together the departments are investigating more than 400 tips that have been received about the six reported assaults.

Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones summarized her hope for the meeting, saying: “We all believe we should live in a world or city or campus free of violence. We all understand survivors of interpersonal violence are not to be blamed for being targeted. All of us want to reduce risks and make our community safer. We may come at this in different ways.

“I hope that tonight, in small groups, we can share our feelings, listen with our ears and hearts and look for common ground to build community and how not to be passive bystanders.”

AAPD released two composite sketches of suspects. Go to the DPS website for additional details (including previously released composite and reward info) as well as case updates as they develop.

Those who have any information about the assaults are asked to contact DPS at 734-763-1131 or the Ann Arbor Police Department Tip Line at 734-794-6939 or Individuals also may contact the Crime Stoppers Anonymous Tip Line at 800-SPEAK UP.