Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5 to include comments from University Spokesperson Matt Lazier and Cal Poly’s Safer Department. 

Trigger warning: sexual violence

An on-campus rape that occurred in Architecture Graveyard was reported to Cal Poly on Monday, according to a university email sent to students today.

According to the email from the Civil Rights and Compliance Office, law enforcement is asking the public for assistance in finding the suspected perpetrator. 

The email described the suspect as a “5′ 7″ white male, early 20’s, with a muscular build, approximately 180-200 lbs, and no facial hair.”

University Spokesperson Matt Lazier said that if the perpetrator is found to be a member of Cal Poly’s campus community, the Civil Rights and Compliance Office will handle the matter administratively.

The on-campus Cal Poly Police Department is increasing patrols in the area of the reported rape, Lazier said.

“It must be noted that [Architecture Graveyard] is a remote location and caution should be taken if accessing the area at any time, especially at night,” Lazier said.

According to the Jeanne Clery Act, Cal Poly is federally mandated to disclose information such as crimes reported on campus. The Civil Rights and Compliance Office said the email is intended to “provide preventative information to the campus community in avoiding becoming the victim of a similar crime.” Lazier said this case falls under the criteria set by the Clery Act and presents a “serious or ongoing threat,” warranting the campus-wide crime warning. 

“Remember, it is not your fault,” the email read. “Perpetrators commit crimes, not victims.”

The Clery Act prohibits the university from releasing information about the victim’s identity at this time.

Cal Poly President Jefferey Armstrong responded to this crime Tuesday afternoon by sending out a campus wide email where he call the incident “both heartbreaking and sobering.”

“I want to assure you all that we are taking the incident very seriously and responding with all appropriate resources,” Armstrong said.

These resources include the Cal Poly Police Department (CPPD) notifying the San Luis Obispo’s County’s Sheriffs Office and Armstrong encouraged anyone with any information on the crime to call CPPD or Crime Stoppers at 805-549-STOP to report information anonymously. Tips that lead to the identification and arrest of the suspect may be rewarded.

Safety resources are listed in both the original email the Civil Rights and Compliance Office sent out and in Armstrong’s email. They include Cal Poly’s counseling center, Safer, campus police and the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

Although Cal Poly Safer said they could not comment on the incident, the department directed students to campus resources for support.

Safer offered support today in response to the crime and will do the same tomorrow between 3 and 4 p.m. in the lower level Campus Health and Wellbeing Conference room and via Zoom.

Mustang News will update this story as information is released. 

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated Crime Stopper tips that result in the identification and arrest of the suspect will be rewarded. Cal Poly President Jefferey Armstrong’s email only states these tips may be rewarded. 

 

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