NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tulane University students, faculty and staff woke up to disturbing news Sunday morning (Oct. 7), hours after a student was sexually assaulted inside a campus bathroom.
“It was just really surprising to wake up to,” Emerson Cody, a junior at Tulane, said of the university-wide crime alert email reporting the assault.
According to the email, a female student was attacked inside the women’s restroom of Dixon Hall, the performing arts center on campus.
“This is the first time I’ve heard anything in a building on campus,” Emily Goldstein, a Tulane junior, said. “It’s really alarming as a girl on campus, you think that buildings are safe, and there’s Tulane police and there’s protection on campus."
The alert says the assault happened about 5 a.m. Sunday. The young woman was headed back to campus from Audubon and Zimpel, just off campus, when she and a group of college-aged men entered the campus building to use a bathroom. The alert says the alleged assault happened when one of the male subjects followed the victim into the women’s restroom.
“It’s really scary,” Goldstein said.
According to the crime alert, the victim described the man as white and tall, with dark hair and facial hair and last seen wearing a white, button down shirt.
Goldstein and Cody both say they try to always be cognizant of their surroundings.
“Just like traveling with friends and never walking alone at night,” Goldstein said.
“I’ll Facetime my mom or someone I can think of because if you’re on Facetime they can see something happening or just like kind of have a record of it,” Cody said.
The reported assault makes them even more aware. Like many on campus, both women said they have more questions about what happened Sunday morning:
Did the victim know the group of men? Were they students? How did they get into the campus building on a Sunday morning?
FOX 8 requested to speak with a Tulane University official on camera, but were told no one was available. Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call Tulane Police or NOPD.