NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Concerned students marched across Illinois State University’s quad Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 15, rallying for women’s safety on campus.
The march comes in response to violence towards a student in a sorority earlier this week. The woman said she was walking to her house when two men cornered her and attempted to kidnap her.
Students at the rally said they are concerned for their safety now. They said there have been multiple threats and assaults on campus and they feel like victims aren’t being taken seriously.
The rally’s organizer, Keely McCorkle belongs to the campus sorority Gamma Phi Beta. She said she and other women felt they had to speak out and let women know they’re here to support them.
“If it reaches like one girl or two girls, at least, like, we are helping someone and saving someone, and being someone’s voice for them,” McCorkle said. “I cannot imagine having to go home after an attempted kidnapping and then being told to stay quiet.”
McCorkle said she wants to see more effort from school officials and authorities to protect students.
“We’re done being silent, so yeah, this was the final straw,” McCorkle said.
Aaron Woodruff, Chief of the ISU Police Department, said the events occurred off campus, falling into the Normal Police Department’s jurisdiction. Woodruff said they are taking students very seriously, but said there have been incidents of people taking pieces of different stories and putting them together to create an untrue account.
“What our concern is the campus community is getting concerned about things that were not true,” said Woodruff. “
McCorkle said the students at the rally are asking for a emergency alert text messaging system available to all students, however, Woodruff said every student should already be automatically signed up for this service. Woodruff said if they can contact the ISU help desk to register if they haven’t already.
Woodruff said other safety services available to students is Safe Walk, Safe Redbird’s App, and various women’s self defense programs like S.A.F.E. and R.A.D.
To learn more, visit ISU’s website.