A female student reported that two men stalked her on the Ammerman campus, according to an email sent to Suffolk County Community College students from the Office of Public Safety on Jan. 29.
The incident occurred Jan. 27 at approximately 5 p.m., Public Safety said.
One suspect was described as approximately 30 years old. The other is approximately 5-foot-6.
Director of Fire and Public Safety Baycan Fideli said the suspects were not identified and, “no other further reports came to us matching [the reported] description.”
“I feel horrible knowing that some student may not feel safe on campus because of it,” said student Alex Reahl, 18, of Centereach.
“It makes me slightly concerned,” said Sydney Keffel, 19. “It could happen anywhere, so it makes you be more cautious to pay attention.”
Fideli says there are multiple steps in various directions. There is a standard procedure to handling stalking reports, but taking action against these reports vary case by case.
Once a report is made, Public Safety must find out where the incident took place — school, home or work, or another location — to contact proper authorities. They will then offer counseling options to the victim.
Then they must try to identify the suspects.
If they aren’t identified, under Clery Law, if there a threat to the larger community, an alert is sent out to all campuses of SCCC.
Fideli said he also sends alerts to surrounding college campuses like Stony Brook University, St. Joseph’s College and Farmingdale State College.
If the suspects are identified are students, a no-contact order issued through Judicial Affairs. The dean administers any disciplinary actions.
In the case that the suspect is identified, and they are not a student of SCCC, persona non grata order is isssued, bans the individual from coming on campus grounds. They can be arrested for violating the order.
If the harassment goes any farther than campus grounds, local police will get involved.
Fideli said his obstacle is reaching the mass number of students in a manner that will guarantee they see the information. He acknowledged that not all students actively check their email and often skim for class cancellations or responses from professors. He also fears that sending out text alerts will begin to null the extremity of the circumstance and be dismissed by students if done too often.
Fideli would like professors to attach the Public Safety’s information and resources to their syllabus so that it is physically given to every student attending a class online and can be accessed online through blackboard.
“Don’t give out your phone number,” Fideli said. The one thing he wants students to understand is to not give your phone number to other students, as harassment can be done through texts, and often starts there.
Another resource is being revealed through email by Public Safety once a memo is ready for release. Public Safety has an app called Rave Guardian, which students can download on any smartphone.
The app allows students to call Public Safety or message with them, should someone want to text rather than call the department. There are dispatchers that can trace the device making contact and track their location.
The Office of Public Safety encourages students to speak up if they feel uncomfortable or that the safety of themselves or others is affected. Students are also offered an escort to their car at their request if they feel unsafe by calling (631) 451-4242 or 311 from any campus phone.