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Students question why a WiscAlert wasn't sent out for stranger assault on Langdon St.

Madison police are calling this their top priority

Students question why a WiscAlert wasn't sent out for stranger assault on Langdon St.

MADISON, Wis. - As Madison police continue to keep extra patrols in the Langdon Street area, some University of Wisconsin-Madison students are wondering why they weren't notified of the substantial battery of a student right when it happened. 

A WiscAlert, the campus emergency system notification sent as a text message to those who opt in, was not sent out when the attack happened in the early-morning hours on Sunday.

A 19-year-old student was beaten and dragged down a hill toward Lake Mendota. A witness saw it happen and called police.

The woman suffered significant facial injuries and was hospitalized. 

Madison police, who were also investigating a sexual assault by a Lyft driver on the same street just hours before, say the stranger assault is now their highest priority. 

"It's kind of concerning that this stuff happens like, all the time and we didn't even find out until, like, the next day. And, like, people were probably out when it was happening," said Ellie Arndt, a student who lives on Langdon Street. 

UW-Madison police sent out an email Sunday at around 6 p.m.

Spokesperson Marc Lovicott said that's when the department knew enough about the situation to send something out. 

"Because we didn't have good accurate information at the very moment when this happened, it didn't make sense for us to send out a WiscAlert because this was off campus and we didn't really have an idea of what was going on at that point," said Lovicott. 

Although many students, including those in sororities and fraternities, live in the Langdon Street area, it is not campus property so it is under the jurisdiction of the Madison Police Department.  

"We need to take a step back and wait and let them do their jobs, before we can alert our community about what exactly had occurred," he said.  

"I'm signed up for the off-campus WiscAlerts and by signing up for that I'm kind of expecting to get an alert when something happens. And the fact that we didn't get anything, it makes us all feel unsafe being here now," said Jill Duerkop. 

"Even if it's not technically the university's responsibility, (sending a WiscAlert) would be sort of them showing their support for people who are in Greek life," said sorority member Lindsey Levy.  

Officers from the UW and Madison police departments met with a group of 200 sorority members Monday night to talk about ways they can stay safe. 

Some of them said they found out about the attack by receiving a message from their sorority president. 

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