An introduction to the fifth annual Red Zone Series

Photo credit: Levi Brown

In the period from the beginning of school to Thanksgiving, more sexual assaults happen on college campuses around the United States than any other time during the school year. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October or November. These first weeks of the semester have become known as the Red Zone.

This is the fifth year that The Northern Light has published its Red Zone Series. During that time, our series has gained praise, including the first-place award for best series at the 2016 Alaska Press Club Awards. Even though we are grateful for the recognition, that is not why we do this series each year.

The goal of the series is to decrease the stigmatization of sexual assault and rape on our campus and to provide knowledge for students on issues less spoken about. This series is for any person who has felt unsafe in a situation and for any individual who has felt uncomfortable after an interaction with someone.

We hope that during this series, you learn something that you didn’t know before, or you find resources that can help you or a friend through a traumatic and difficult time. The stories we write are to inform students of what resources they have available to them.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, please contact the University Police Department at (907) 786-1120 or the Title IX office at (907) 786-4680.