By Meredith Dobes
A 20-year-old female Roosevelt University student alleged she was sexually assaulted by a university security guard on Jan. 25.
The student, who asked not to be identified, lives in the Wabash Building residence hall. On the day of the incident, the student said she came home intoxicated from a party around 3 a.m. She ran into a security guard on the 14th floor, and she said he asked her to keep him company while he did rounds.
“I told him I was too tired and drunk and wanted to sleep, but I eventually agreed to go, assuming that it’d be above the 14th floor, but we ended up going to the 11th,” she said. “He looked like he was doing his job, checking the halls. Then, we went down the stairs to the 10th floor, and he wanted me to go into a room to see the view from the window in there, and I did.”
The student said that in the room, the guard put his hands on her hips, and she told him that it was weird because he was a security guard. She said she moved to leave the room, but he pushed her onto a table and attempted to unbutton her pants. Then, she said, he moved her hand to his groin, and she moved toward the door. He then escorted her back to the 14th floor.
She said that though she did not initially reach out for help, the following Tuesday, Assistant Director of Residence Life Mario Rodriguez contacted her, and she told him what happened. The same day, she also spoke to Director of Campus Safety Maureen Froncek about the situation. She said they both offered her counseling, but she declined.
The student did not know the guard’s name, but described him as black, tall, hefty and bald with light brown eyes, a small mustache and beard and an earring.
Assistant Vice President of Public Relations Tom Karow said that the university does not comment on employee relations matters, but the university has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and violence.
“The university seeks to provide not only a secure but a caring environment and, as such, offers services and support to victims of any crime to help them during an extremely difficult and painful time,” he said. “The university also provides victims with special housing and academic assistance and arranges for them to receive proper medical care. In addition, university officials will help students fill out a police report if they would like to press criminal charges.”
Karow also noted that any act of sexual misconduct or sexual assault is in violation of the university’s Code of Conduct, Sexual Assault Policy and Anti-Harassment Policy.
“All occurrences are investigated by the appropriate administrator, and all formal complaints of student sexual misconduct and sexual assault are filed with and reported by our Title IX Coordinator,” he said.
The university currently has two full-time campus safety officer positions it is seeking to fill. Candidates are required to “have or obtain a State of Illinois Security Officer Training Certification” and “have or are in the process of obtaining their PERC card (State of Illinois license.)”
The position listing also notes that, “employment in this position is subject to criminal background investigation.”
“After being hired, safety officers — like all Roosevelt employees — must complete mandatory Sexual Misconduct Training and Anti-Harassment Training in compliance with Title IX and… Campus Security Authority Training for Law Enforcement Personnel in compliance with the Clery Act,” Karow said.
The university did not send out an email to the student body or residents of the Wabash Building about the incident, as it has in past cases.
The student said she is unsure if she will file charges against the guard.