But mere hours after proclaiming "a great end of day 3 of move-in" in a tweet accompanying photos of law enforcement officers passing out popsicles to incoming students, the department issued a safety alert about a reported sexual assault at Williams Village, 3300 Baseline Road, the university's largest undergraduate housing complex — and the search for a suspect is ongoing.
Here's the tweet that immediately preceded the sexual-assault bulletin, sent at 4:25 p.m. on August 17.
Williams Village North, whose web page describes it as "one of our newer residence halls," with space for approximately 500 students. The department revealed that a suspect had knocked on the door of a female student, then "grabbed the victim by the neck and sexually assaulted her at her residence."
The suspect is described as a college-aged white male approximately six feet tall with dirty blonde hair. He was wearing a white or gray shirt and sweatpants at the time of the assault.
Such incidents aren't commonplace at CU Boulder, but neither are they unknown, as demonstrated by 2018-2020 crime statistics for the campus shared on the Scholarships.com website. The site counts 32 on-campus forcible sex offenses in 2018, 26 in 2019 and twenty in 2020, and the majority of the crimes took place in residence halls: twenty in 2018 and again in 2019, and seventeen in 2020. However, the overwhelming majority of offenses involve violations of drug and liquor laws.
Here's how it breaks down:
• If you see an emergency occurring, or you or someone else is in danger, call or text 9-1-1.
• Always use the buddy system.
• Be an effective bystander. Don’t ignore situations that seem problematic or indicators that someone is trying to take advantage of a person who is vulnerable.
• When walking, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid distractions like looking at your phone. Walk in well-lit areas.
• Close and lock your doors and windows to help prevent burglaries and assaults.
• All residence hall residents should be conscientious about any strangers trying to enter buildings without an escort or "tailgating," entering residence halls with a group of students.
• Doors leading to living areas in residence halls remain locked 24 hours a day and visitors must be escorted by a hall resident. Do not prop open doors.