Letter: I was assaulted on campus and nobody saw

The bass was bumping. Seas of people were swaying back and forth in unison with arms raised and smiles plastered across their faces. As the clock struck two o'clock in the morning, the crowd began to dissipate with a unanimous sense of satisfaction at their mid-week outing.

I decided to leave with the main crowd of people. It was pitch black outside and there were scattered crowds dispersed on the street. On my way to my friend’s house, I passed a group of six guys who made some snide remarks about my ethnicity -- specifically the fact that I was wearing a turban in public. Feeling uncomfortable, I started to walk faster towards my friend's residence hall while frantically trying to get ahold of him. I could feel the presence of a group behind me. I started to walk a little bit faster. The street was quiet. There was nothing other than the sound of my steps as I quickened my pace.

Out of nowhere, one of the guys from the group pushed me from behind. Within seconds I was surrounded by the six people I loosely recognized from earlier. “What do you think you are doing you sand n***er?” they yelled as they started to punch my stomach and chest. I tried to run away from the crowd, but they had me completely trapped in the same position. The street was deserted other than the seven of us. I could only cover my head and hope that they didn’t hurt me too badly. About 10 minutes passed; I gathered my strength and tried to run through them but the guys formed a circle around me and they threw me back to the ground.

Twenty unrelenting minutes of verbal and physical brutality ensued. One of the attackers ripped my turban from my head and kicked it to the curbside. My ribs were on fire and my chest was exploding. I knew I had to make one last run for it. I threw a punch and hit one of them in the face, buying myself 10 seconds. I sprinted down the street, turned a corner and managed to jump into a bush next to one of the residences. For 30 minutes, I hid away from the attackers in complete silence.

I am a student at UBC and I faced this terrible situation following a Wednesday evening Pit Night. Combined with the sexual assaults that have taken place over the past year, it is yet another incident on UBC campus in which the perpetrator has yet to be apprehended.

In my eyes, the solution is staring everyone in the face. Security cameras. It is ridiculous that students have been assaulted over the past year and UBC has not thought to put up closed circuit cameras at highly trafficked areas like the bus loop, and streets leading to the residence halls. I can only hope that raising my voice -- as a victim of a UBC campus assault -- may finally start to get this idea across to campus leadership.

By speaking out about the terrible crime that took place at UBC, I hope that other students will start to listen to how real the threat might be. The objective is not to scare people; it is simply to raise awareness about the variety of people that may actually be targeted. Just because you are a 20-year-old healthy male doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be careful. I just want no other student to go through what I did. If you are studying late and have to walk across campus alone, be extremely aware of the situation you are in and don’t be afraid to call SafeWalk or even the police if you feel threatened.

Ultimately, my main message is that something has to change. The worst part about the whole situation is that tomorrow, I could walk into a lecture and sit down next to the same person that stripped me of my dignity, physically brutalized me and disrespected my religion -- while being completely oblivious to that fact.

The author of this letter is a second-year UBC student. In accordance with his wishes and due to the sensitive nature of this subject, The Ubyssey is maintaining his anonymity.