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University increases Central Campus security after sexual assault as DUPD investigates

<p>DUPD is investigating Thursday morning's sexual assault on Central Campus.&nbsp;</p>

DUPD is investigating Thursday morning's sexual assault on Central Campus. 

Hours after a Duke Alert notified the Duke community of a sexual assault on Central Campus, Duke has begun to implement security changes. 

The changes stem from a Thursday morning Duke Alert in which a student reported being sexually assaulted in a Pace Street common room between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. 

Michael Schoenfeld, vice president of public affairs and government relations, wrote in an email to The Chronicle Thursday afternoon that security personnel would be increased on Central Campus. 

"This was a heinous, deeply disturbing crime and our first concern is to provide support for the survivor, which is being done," he wrote. "Duke Police are conducting an active investigation that includes coordination with other law enforcement agencies. In the meantime, we have increased personnel and other security measures in Central Campus." 

Joe Gonzalez, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean for residential life, told The Chronicle that access codes to Central Campus common rooms would also be changed Thursday afternoon.

“Each common room on Central has its own code to use to open the lock,” Gonzalez wrote in an email. “These are changed over the summer each year. We are changing them again and house members will be sent their updated code.”

Keith Lawrence, executive director of news and communications, wrote that the University is "providing support for the survivor" but declined to provide more information to protect the student's identity. 

The student was reportedly woken up by a white male with short brown hair around 25 years old, according to the Duke Alert and Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek's email to students. 

How the perpetrator was able to gain access to the Central Campus common room is currently under investigation, Lawrence wrote.

Stefanie Pousoulides | Investigations Editor

Stefanie Pousoulides is The Chronicle's Investigations Editor. A senior from Akron, Ohio, Stefanie is double majoring in political science and international comparative studies and serves as a Senior Editor of The Muse Magazine, Duke's feminist magazine. She is also a former co-Editor-in-Chief of The Muse Magazine and a former reporting intern at PolitiFact in Washington, D.C.


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