Cal Poly students react to second rape case on campus

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Posted at 7:33 PM, Oct 11, 2021

A second rape case has been reported at Cal Poly.

The reported crime took place on Sunday on the campus of Cal Poly at a location within the Poly Canyon Village Apartments.

Cal Poly students are reacting to the news, which came days after a prior rape was reported in the Cal Poly "architecture graveyard."

“There is so much effort to try to make a safe and inclusive environment. Something like this happens and it throws you for a loop,” said senior Tessa Witkofsky.

"When I saw the email, I thought it was about the same case. Seeing it was about a different case is really scary,” said sophomore Alina Jafri.

"Living on campus when these things are happening and knowing the guy could be in my class or walking behind me—that’s really scary,” said junior Hailey Main.

“To think somewhere like that was compromised is a really scary thing to hear,” said sophomore Natalie Foad.

Cal Poly senior Tessa Witkofsky led a march for Kristin Smart back in the spring to make students aware of Smart’s story, saying she created an awareness to prevent cases like this.

“It made me re-evaluate my own safety. Like, am I able to walk these places on my own?” said Witkofsky.

Other Cal Poly students rely on the buddy system for their own safety.

“Being a female walking around campus, I tend to always walk around with another person. I don’t like to be alone at night,” said Georgina Stephens.

“I have found it very important to find someone to walk with at all times when going to my car,” said Foad.

And while the case is currently being investigated, students are acting with caution following the disturbances the campus has reported over the weekend.

“Now they’re being reported, I’m a lot more cautious,” said Jafri.

“You always think that wouldn’t happen to me or my friends. Hearing all of these stories and thinking how this could happen, you realize it could happen to you,” said junior Grace Verdegaal.

Law enforcement is currently seeking the suspect listed in the Clery Act notification.

The perpetrator is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He is a white male with blonde, curly hair and a slender build.

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact the Cal Poly Police Department at (805) 756-2281.