BC Students Raise Concerns About Safety After Reported Assault On Campus

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog

“I’m just wondering if they caught the guy.”

Those were the words of an anonymous BC student when asked about the reported rape in BC’s L building on Tuesday, Feb. 27. According to the Bellevue Police Department’s (BPD) blog, the person suspected of being ‘the guy’ in question is a clean-shaven, college-aged white male last seen wearing a hoodie of an unknown color. The same blog post notes that the alleged victim reported being raped at knifepoint but that the BPD “do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the school or local community at this time.”

The Watchdog reached out to the BPD for comment, but they declined to give more information while the case is still ongoing.

“I’m hoping that, you know, the girl is alright,” said another anonymous BC student. “…I don’t think it was a great day for her or anyone else.”

That same anonymous student continued to mention that “everyone is concerned, I think, and everyone is talking about how they are worried about safety and security.” However, she wasn’t sure about the precise way in which to secure the campus moving forward.

“Some people are proposing, like, why don’t we have locks on the building, why don’t we have door codes or, like, key cards or some sort of system like that,” she explained. “I’m not completely opposed to that idea, either… However, I do think… the report that she made, that situation can happen to anyone, by anyone, and it’s way more common to happen from someone who you know.”

“This was a person in, you know, the school age range,” she concluded. “If it happened, it would’ve been a person, probably, from the school. And so, [increasing physical security] doesn’t prevent or stop anything from happening.”

When asked to comment on the incident, BC’s associate director of communications, Raechel Dawson, said BC “[​​hopes] the community keeps in mind the importance of exercising kindness to one another and that Bellevue College cares deeply about our students, staff, and faculty’s well-being.” She continued to affirm BC’s commitment to “fostering a campus culture that exemplifies safety, respect, and empathy.”

Dawson also shared the response and resources webpage made by BC in the wake of the incident. She specifically recommended the BC counseling center for those suffering the emotional impact of the incident, and BC public safety’s safety escort program for those feeling unsafe.

In the event that you or a loved one is experiencing an unsafe or hostile situation, the Bellevue City Police Department can be reached at 425-452-6917 or via 911 in an emergency, and at 425-577-5656 for non-emergency inquiries. For issues on-campus, BC public safety (located in B132) can be reached during regular office hours at 425-564-2400, and 24/7 at 425-466-9365. Non-urgent concerns or questions can also be sent via email at publicsafety@bellevuecollege.edu.

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog