Students Reexamine Their Safety Precautions After State College Assault

Story posted April 13, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Natalie Simone

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – On a usual weekend at Penn State, students fill downtown State College in attempts to have a fun night while trying to remain safe while doing so.

Maggie Nash, a second-year student majoring in early education, prioritizes being aware of her surroundings and always carries around her pepper spray.

Specifically, fraternity row, which are East Fairmont Avenue and East Foster Avenue, “feels safe,” but “past the [State College] high school football field it feels scary because it’s all dark. I feel like there’s not good lighting past downtown, so that can be scary,” Nash said.

A first-year student studying human development and family studies, Grace Carroll, agrees. “When there are a ton of kids out and walking frat row, I feel safe,” Carroll said.

Carroll explained the precautions she follows when she’s out late in downtown State College.

“I will always go home with somebody. Sometimes I Uber home; I will get right into the Uber from the frat and then go home, and my mom can see my Ubers,” Carroll said.

She shared an additional safety feature that the “Uber” app provides for users.

“Uber Pin” is a verification safety system in the app, which ensures customers enter the correct vehicle. The user who ordered the ride will receive a pin that requires verification with the driver before the driver can begin the ride. Additionally, there is a setting that allows “Uber Pin” to only be activated during night-time. 

Carroll and Nash agreed that walking home in a group, with a trusted friend, or talking on the phone with pepper spray visible in hand will ensure one's safety.

“I feel like being aware is really all you can do,” Nash said, especially after hearing about the recent off-campus assault.

Currently, State College Police are searching for a group of individuals who were involved in an alleged aggravated assault on April 9.

It was reported that a group assaulted a college-aged male outside Lion’s Den, a popular bar in downtown State College, around 2 a.m.

The victim had injuries to his face and head, although no weapons were reported to be involved.

Upon police arrival, the victim was unconscious and brought to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment.

So far, no charges have been filed, but State College Police urge all individuals who have any information about the assault to report it immediately.

Natalie Simone is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email