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By Melissa McCarthy

Two female Western students reported finding a man crouched in the shower of a women’s restroom at Ridgeway Kappa residence hall at around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, according to a Western Alert Advisory sent out at around 3 p.m. Monday.

One of students was in the second floor restroom when she noticed the shower was occupied with no water running. When she looked behind the shower curtain and found a man, she ran out of the bathroom.

Shortly after, another student saw the man exit the restroom and flee.

University Police searched the area but did not find the man. In response to this event and other suspicious incidents on campus, University Police are stepping up patrols with special attention paid to residence halls, Western’s director of communications and marketing Paul Cocke said in an email.

Students flocked to social media to express concern and frustration about this incident. A post on Reddit in the WWU subreddit read, “Why have we NOT gotten a Western Alert about this?!”

Western Front staff contacted the university Monday afternoon for information on why an alert hadn’t been sent out following the incident. A Western Alert Advisory was sent less than an hour later via email.

“Western Alerts that are sent out as soon as possible are in response to an imminent threat to the health or safety on campus. In this case, this was a suspicious person and it is unclear exactly what was going on,” Cocke said.

The delay in this alert was in order to do more investigation, Cocke said.

If you have any information about this incident, call University Police at 3911, or 911. You can also call the University Police anonymous reporting line at (360) 650-SAFE (7223). The university provides a service using public safety assistants ("green coats"), who are available to enhance safety during evening hours by escorting students, faculty and staff or community members on campus. This service is available by calling University Police at (360) 650-3555. Western’s Counseling Center and CASAS, Consultation and Sexual Assault Support, are available to meet or speak with students who feel they may benefit from these services.

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