ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Apartment complexes near Grand Valley State University are increasing security measures in light of four alleged sexual assaults and a shooting near the Allendale campus in recent weeks.
Employees at Trio Townhomes, where the most recent sexual assault was reported, say security firm Absolute Security has increased foot patrols Thursday through Saturday and is adding another security guard and patrol car.
Two GVSU students who work in the office at Trio Townhomes say university alerts about dangerous incidents seem to be sent to students more than ever before.
“Just when we get these emails, it says ‘GVSU alert exclamation point.’ And we’re kind of like, ‘Oh, gosh, what’s next? What’s now?'” one of the students, Samantha Billek, said.
The incidents not even a mile from campus are unsettling for her and Lauren Jakubik,
“We always know where we are and I text them when I get off the bus. I’m saying, ‘Walking to my apartment so you know when I’m going to be home. If I’m not home, something’s up,'” Billek said.
“I never had a question about wondering if it’s going to be a dangerous area. It was just kind of taken for granted ’cause I knew Grand Valley was very safe. So I think these occurrences have kind of made me more aware, just to be more aware of my surroundings,” Jakubik said.
They are encouraged by the increased security on and off campus.
“I’ve seen a lot more security presence. When I was walking to my apartment here the other day, there was a sheriff’s car just sitting there, so it’s kind of nice to see,” Billek said.
There’s also “Safe Walk” a resource students say they’re taking advantage of more than ever before.
“A security guard will offer any free walks home to any students … and there’s also a couple of apps we could use too,” Jakubik said.
Students also say an added sidewalk near a number of the apartment complexes on 48th Avenue near campus is helping them feel safer walking at night.
Last week, GVSU’s president said he would do everything he could to prevent another sexual assault near campus.