GVSU hosts town hall discussion on sexual assault after several incidents

ALLENDALE, Mich. -- Grand Valley State University hosted a town hall discussion about college sexual assault in response to several reports of it happening near it's main campus.

Wednesday, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department told FOX 17 News they were investigating a fourth sexual assault to happen near GVSU at an off-campus apartment this fall semester. The other three also happened at or near other off-campus apartments off 48th Avenue, about a mile away from the Allendale campus.

GVSU president Thomas Haas addressed students during the meeting, vowing that he'll use all the resources available to him to catch those responsible for the sexual assaults.

"Yesterday was not a good day for me, but more importantly, for the university and for its students," Haas said. "Whenever we have situations like this we always have to redouble our efforts. The perpetrator is the one responsible...and we will find this individual or individuals."

Students responded positively to Haas' passion.

"It's nice to see how upset it gets him, because it's upsetting a lot of people," said freshman Srenna Chrystler.

Ottawa County Captain Mark Bennett says investigators believe the assaults may be related. They're increasing their patrols around the apartments since the reports came in.

GVSU posted a letter from the president in advance of the meeting. He says that the campus is on high alert after the attacks

The university offers two programs available to students and anyone on campus: Safewalk  is a service offered everyday from 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. during the fall and winter semesters where students can request a security employee to walk with them to wherever they need to go. That can be accessed by calling Grand Valley police dispatch at 616-331-3255. RaveGuardian is a mobile phone app that gives students a direct connection to Campus Safety.

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