Students hold protest calling for immediate action from UPD following alleged sexual assault


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Students marching from Shocker Hall to the University Police department as a part of their protest Friday. The protest was calling for immediate action from the university police department after alleged sexual assault on campus.

About 150 Wichita State students and community members protested on campus Friday in response to a reported sexual assault at Shocker Hall. 

On Tuesday, a student reported being raped on campus on Sunday, two days prior to the report. The university police department gave minimal information, citing the open investigation. 

The report appeared on the campus crime log, but no formal alert was issued to campus. The Clery Act requires the university to alert students if there is an ongoing threat of bodily harm to students. WSUpd did not clarify why the reported assault was not considered an immediate threat.

Most students were not aware of the alleged assault until The Sunflower reported on it Wednesday. 

Protesters marched from Shocker Hall to the university police department chanting demands for further investigation and transparency.

“Survivors need justice!” 

“Hey hey, ho ho, to jail the rapist needs to g0!” 

“UPD is full of snobs, they can’t even do their jobs!”

Outside the police department, individuals share their thoughts, concerns and stories with the crowd. 

“Everyone talks about how great and diverse WSU is, how inclusive, how safe it is. That doesn’t mean shit if we don’t back it up … we deserve to be cared for,” Aaliyah Blanchard, a senior at Wichita Northwest, said.

WSU Freshman Victoria Owens said that it is important to take concerns further than the UPD.

“What are they doing, giving us parking tickets?  Is that going to help anybody?  They could get money for that,” Owens said. “You know what they don’t get money for?  Keeping people accountable.

“We need to take charge, because this is not ok that this girl is going through this.”

Junior Delaney Jones said she wants the university to implement more policies to keep students safe.

“Some of my values personally relate to this. I feel like we should each have bodily autonomy, and me being safe on campus is a priority and they need to do their job to make sure we are all safe on campus,” Jones said.

Wichita State Junior Alondra Aguilera, who helped organize the event and led most of the chants, said that the police should be more transparent with students about similar situations.

“I think there should be a statement they should release directly from the university, not through other outlets, and then have police say, maybe a few details of how they’re doing the investigation, how far they are in the investigation,” Aguilera said.

Aguilera said that she hopes accountability will be promoted after the protest.

“I hope there’s a message of accountability that we need to keep students, staff, everyone accountable regardless of gender, or their status or their position here in the university they need to be held accountable,” Aguilera said.

The survivor attended the protest, but chose not to speak. Aguilera said she wants the survivor to know she’s not alone.

“I hope that she feels supported, just seeing how many people came to show up for her and other survivors as well,” Aguilera said.

Though much of the protest took place in front of the university police department, no officers showed up to speak with students. The protest’s sponsor requested for officers to not attend in hopes of creating a safe space for students.

Aguilera said despite this, she hopes the UPD is open to conversations in the future. 

“We hope that he is open to having another dialogue with … students on campus,” Aguilera said. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story included a quote with misleading information. The quote said that organizers requested UPD to attend the protest. The Sunflower has since been notified that information was not correct, so the quote was removed. This version of the story reflects the corrections.