Goucher e-mail warns of date rapes

Goucher College President Sanford J. Ungar has sent an e-mail to nearly 1,500 undergraduate students at the private liberal arts college in Towson, warning about allegations of a string of date rapes and urging any victims to come forward.

Three "very serious allegations" of sexual assault both on and off campus were reported to the campus public safety office, and date-rape drugs may have been used in all of those cases, Ungar wrote in the message sent out Friday.


Kristen Keener, Goucher's media relations director, said yesterday that a student who did not witness the incidents but heard about them from friends reported the information. The purported victims had not been approached by campus officials, nor had police been notified, Keener added.

"At this point it's a privacy issue for them," Keener said. "While the college absolutely wants them to be taken care of and to get counseling and any kind of necessary treatment, the administration also feels it's important to respect the privacy of these individuals and let it be their prerogative.


"This continues to be an internal investigation," she added.

In the e-mail, Ungar assured victims that they would not be disciplined for alcohol or drug use if that was a factor in an assault.

Victims can contact college chaplain Cynthia Terry, the Office of Public Safety, a community living coordinator or campus sexual assault consultants Gayle Davis, Ray Green, Sharon Spector and Patricia Wick.

Ungar cited Justice Department statistics showing that one in five women is the victims of attempted or actual sexual assault while at college, and that the majority of assaults are date rapes.

He also offered tips for safe practices, including using a "buddy" system by going places with a friend and not leaving a drink unattended where it could be tampered with.