Breaking: Simpson security alerts campus of reported sex assault

Editor’s Note: This story mentions a reported sexual assault on campus, which may be triggering for some readers. Resources are listed below


by Randy Paulson, Editor-in-Chief

Simpson College’s Office of Security emailed students, faculty and staff early Tuesday afternoon informing them of a report of sexual assault that the college’s Title IX Coordinator received on Monday.

Director of Security Chris Frerichs sent the email, which is reprinted in its entirety below:

This notification serves as a timely warning regarding a reported campus crime. Any recipients of this notice who may have been a prior victim of sexual misconduct or assault should be aware the following message could evoke an emotional response. Support resources can be found at the end of this message.

This communication is prepared as part of the timely warning requirement of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1990. This federal law requires a general communication to the campus community of all crimes reported to campus or local police departments that may pose a threat to the campus community. Because of the nature of the situation, we will only send updates to the larger community if we learn of information that would impact the wider campus.

On February 25, Simpson College’s Title IX Coordinator received a report from a student of being sexually assaulted by potentially several unidentified men. The student related that the assault likely occurred in Buxton Hall in an unknown room between 1:00am and 2:00am on the morning of Sunday, February 17. The alleged perpetrators have not been identified. Simpson College’s Office of Security and the College’s Title IX Coordinator are actively investigating the situation. Any information about the situation can be sent to the Director of Security, Chris Frerichs, at 515-961-1711, or to the Title IX Coordinator, Elyse Morris, at 515-961-1257 or [email protected]. Although the reporting student has decided not to involve the Indianola Police Department at this time, the Dean of Students, Luke Behaunek, is in consultation with IPD regarding this situation. Our goal is to respect the student’s decision to not file a police report while working to keep our community safe.

Simpson College’s Title IX Policy and associated resources, including how to be an effective bystander, can be found at It is important to remember that the only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator. Sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, is treated seriously by Simpson College and criminal charges and/or severe disciplinary actions can be imposed on perpetrators.

The following offices can also provide you with the assistance and support you or others may need:

Counseling Services, 515-961-1332
Campus Security, 515-961-1711
Title IX Coordinator, 515-961-1257
Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA) 515-330-6392
Student Development Office, 515-961-1592
College Chaplains’ Office, 515-961-1684
Health Services, 515-961-1604
Victims Services, 515-286-3535
Indianola Police Department, 911 or 515-961-9400
Iowa Methodist Hospital, 515-241-6423
Iowa Lutheran Hospital, 515-263-5120
Mercy Medical Center, 515-247-3121