Police at Dartmouth College have arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a female student.
Some students are voicing concern that they tried to speak up and feel their complaints fell on deaf ears.
Hanover Police arrested 20-year-old Dartmouth student Parker Gilbert of London, England, Wednesday, on charges of sexual assault. Police say he allegedly entered a dorm room and attacked a female student May 2.
Hanover Police declined to comment and Dartmouth College cannot comment on specific allegations but a spokesperson for the college released a statement saying:
"We take all allegations of sexual assault very seriously. We are deeply committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students. We have implemented numerous new and strengthened initiatives over the past few years to reduce incidents of sexual assault."
But some students disagree. A student activist group called Real Talk says the college has allowed a culture of homophobia, sexual assault and racism to exist on campus.
"This specific alleged incident brings to light that this does happen on Dartmouth's campus," said Anna Roth, a Dartmouth senior and Real Talk member.
Back in April, Roth and the other activists barged into an event for newly accepted students chanting "Dartmouth has a problem." Soon after, the campus newspaper says there were anonymous calls to rape, assault and even kill those involved in the stunt. That led to college officials shutting down campus for the day to talk about issues.
"We believed our community hit a tipping point where festering wounds and years of calls for help needed to be addressed without further delay," Interim President Carol Folt said, when she addressed students back in April.
But just seven days after that day of healing, police say Gilbert assaulted one student and may be linked to a second attack on campus.
"Rape is a systemic problem. It's not about a specific guy, it is not about this case, but it's about a culture where this happens all the time," Roth said.
Students are also upset the college didn't notify the campus community when the incident happened-- only announcing it in an email Wednesday night.
"I'm not surprised," said Rachel Sands, a senior. "Dartmouth is very reactionary. It reacts to when something bad happens or when the image of Dartmouth gets shattered in the public media."
We reached out to Dartmouth officials to address the specific concerns of those students. They declined, but said in a statement that in recent years they have implemented initiatives to quote "hold accountable those found responsible, and offer as much support and care as we can to survivors."
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