Addressing sexual assaults on campus

Addressing sexual assaults on campus


We have received questions relating to recent notifications to the Rowan University community about sexual assaults. We are hoping to share information about sexual assault and available resources to help our students. 

Rowan University is committed to the prevention and adjudication of sexual assault, sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behavior. Concerns, crimes and violations of the Student Code of Conduct that have been brought to our attention are under investigation by the Department of Public Safety, the Glassboro Police Department, and OSEC (Student Life). The victims in these matters have been offered services from various departments on campus, including Public Safety and the Wellness Center.

Sexual assault is non-consensual activity, ranging from unwanted touching to forced intercourse, with another person. Thus, any sexual act that happens without consent is sexual assault.

Sexual assault is not a crime of passion. It’s a crime in which assailants seek to assert their power to dominate their victims. Perpetrators of sexual assault look to isolate and incapacitate victims by means of alcohol and/or drugs, coercion or crossing other boundaries. 

Even amidst their own trauma, students demonstrate tremendous courage when they report incidents. By doing so, they make it possible for the authorities to investigate the assaults as we work to support the victims, hold the perpetrators accountable and keep the University community informed.

Reports of sexual assault that pose a continuing threat to the Rowan community are sent directly through the Rowan Alert system. Even when there are few details to share, the campus community is notified to ensure that students are aware of a potential ongoing threat. We take the reporting of such information very seriously, following the guidelines set forth through the Clery Act.

Startling national statistics
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, reports that 13 percent of all students in college (women and men, undergraduate and graduate students) experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation.

Among undergraduates, 26.4 percent of females and 6.8 percent of males experience rape or sexual assault, according to RAINN. The network’s statistics also show that 23.1 percent of transgender and non-binary students have been sexually assaulted.

Moreover, college-age adults, ages 18-24, are at high risk for sexual violence, according to statistics shared by the network. RAINN also reports that students are at an increased risk during the first few months of their first and second semesters of college. According to RAINN’s statistics, more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur from August through October.

Receiving assistance
Rowan’s Sexual Violence Prevention Program is a multi-faceted approach to keeping our campus safe and empowering the Rowan community to help stop power-based personal violence.

If you have been sexually assaulted, experienced domestic or dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment or any form of sexual exploitation, we strongly encourage you to seek assistance and report the incident as soon as possible.

Confidential mental health and medical services are available through Counseling & Psychological Services and Student Health Services in the Wellness Center. Other resources to report sexual assault or other Title IX concerns can be found in the Office of Equity and Diversity

An advocate from SERV is available to meet with students on Mondays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the cultural library in the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution. This service is free and confidential for all students. 

You also can receive assistance from the following:

  • Rowan Public Safety: 856-256-4911
  • Glassboro Police: 911
  • Counseling & Psychological Services/Student Health Services at the Wellness Center: 856-256-4333
  • Services Empowering Rape Victims (24-hour free and confidential counseling): 866-295-SERV.

Safety supports
If you are in any situation where you are unsure or scared, call Rowan Public Safety at 856-256-4911 or 911.

If you feel unsafe walking from one location to another on campus, Public Safety provides an escort service to anyone on campus. Request an escort by calling 856-256-4922.

Everyone can be an advocate. If you witness a situation that appears unsafe or makes you uncomfortable, intervene if you can do so safely, seek help from a friend or go to a safe area and call for help. You can learn more about bystander awareness and intervention through the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program

Statistics show that sexual assaults are underreported—on college campuses and elsewhere. However, when victims feel supported and heard, they are more likely to report assaults and potentially help prevent future assaults. 

Sexual violence is a problem across the nation, but it’s not something to be normalized or tolerated anywhere. All members of the University community have the right to be free from any form of sexual violence, harassment or exploitation.

We are committed to upholding that right, to educate the campus community about sexual assault, to hold accountable at the highest levels anyone who violates the law and our codes of conduct, and to support those who are victims of sexual violence.

It is tremendously troubling to acknowledge that anyone can be a victim, but the converse is that everyone can act with courage to combat sexual violence and respond with compassion to support recovery. 


Tony Lowman, Ph.D.

Kevin S. Koett, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students 

Michael Kantner
Assistant Vice President for Public Safety & Emergency Management