RINDGE — After a 22-year-old student was left in critical condition with a head injury this weekend from an alleged assault, Franklin Pierce University officials are reviewing safety protocols on campus.
“Needless to say, any incident like this is completely unacceptable and the university is engaged in an assessment process that goes beyond the current investigation to better determine exactly what happened,” said Matthew Barone, a university spokesman.
Rindge Police Detective Rachel Malynowski said Wednesday there have been no arrests in the case, though she said it is an active and ongoing investigation.
The student is in critical condition at University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
Malynowski declined comment about incidents on campus this year. This is the second serious assault police have responded to since the start of the school year.
A teen was injured so badly during an October assault that he required surgery, according to police. No arrests have been announced in that case, though there are reportedly several suspects. The victim in that case was not a university student. His presence on campus, along with other outsiders, is part of what the school is reviewing, according to Barone.
“University administrators are also taking a closer look at our registration process for campus guests and visitors,” Barone said.
Parents of university students took to social media to question the safety of the school in light of the alleged assault.
“I’m really starting to feel like my son is not safe there,” wrote Michelle Lee on the Rindge Police Department’s Facebook page. “There has been too many incidents just in the past few months.”
Jim Earle, vice president for student affairs, said the school plans to add more security cameras and consider new lighting for campus. The school also will increase security foot patrols, and ask for more help from Rindge police on weekends, among other steps.
Earle said while the campus is safe, it is not free of all problems.
“We are not immune from some of the same challenges and problems that occur on other campuses across the country, and we will continue to thoroughly investigate in cooperation with local law enforcement,” Earle said.
Barone said the school’s rural campus is a close-knit community that prides itself on being a safe place for students.
“At the end of the day, campus safety is our top priority,” Barone said. “We are confident that we can live up to our reputation as having a safe campus.”