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Virginia Tech student starts petition after five reports of sexual assault

Virginia Tech student starts petition after 5 reports of sexual assault
Virginia Tech student starts petition after 5 reports of sexual assault (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Virginia Tech students and faculty have received five separate sexual assault notifications this week alone.

It's something that has inspired one senior to start a petition for more education about the issue on campus.

Sarah Pavilack said she hopes that petition will push the university to require incoming freshman to undergo an in-person sexual assault training before they begin classes.

Right now, incoming students are required to take an online class.

More than 1,100 people have signed the petition in one day, and the university says it's listening.

"I really think there needs to be an in-person seminar for incoming freshman, because this is a situation that affects real people, and i think you need to see the emotion behind it and have somebody talk about the consequences and what this does to people, and that just can't be accomplished through a screen," said Pavilack.

"This kind of conversation, whether that be through a petition, is welcomed and we encourage people to raise those issues. we'll re-examine, we'll re-look, we'll re-focus on the things that we do. these are good things that are happening, that students want to raise that awareness, and we will listen to them," said University Spokesman Mark Owczarski.

The school says it's also dedicated to continuing sexual assault education once students are on-campus, with events such as the annual Take Back The Night vigil.

That will be held this week on Thursday night.