Police Are Investigating A Rape At Buffalo State College

October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Students at Buffalo State College are being warned to stay on alert, after a student there was raped at a party on campus.

An e-mail alert sent out to students and staff warned that University Police are looking for a rapist who attacked a student.

Nikita Craig, a student, says they are watching out for fellow students. She adds "When you hear about it you try to be more safe -- not going out to party unless you go out with friends. You look out for each other."

Erie County Central Services Crime Lab is looking at evidence.

Police Chief Peter Carey says they already have a person of interest that they've questioned.

He adds investigators are looking into how he knew the victim -- if at all.

Carey explains "College campuses are different. While people may not be an acquaintance, they may not be a part of the campus community, they see them and may not know them that well."

University Police won't say much about the person of interest, but add he is not a stranger to the campus.

Carey says "We didn't have somebody come to our campus to victimize our community. Our investigation is moving forward and we're doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the campus."

The school is providing counseling for the victim.

It's been a tough year at Buffalo State College.

The area surrounding the school has been plagued by violence.

In the weeks after classes started, e-mails went out warning students about a student shot and others robbed in neighborhoods near the school.

University Police say it's important to remember: safety first, whether you're at a party or walking back from class.

Carey reminds "Whether it's on campus or off-campus we encourage students to stay together with at least one other person. Not only staying on campus but if you're at these parties or a bar but to be with someone and be concerned for your fellow students."

He adds "Don't be on your cell phone or on your earbuds listening to music. Always be aware of your surrounding."

Buffalo police officers are even going door-to-door -- giving students living off-campus safety tips.

The college has a free escort students to walk and give rides to students feeling unsafe. It also offers free self-defense classes.

The investigation into Saturday's rape is still ongoing.

The college usually sees about one sexual assault on-campus a year. However, Carey says because many victims never come forward, he believes that number is under-reported.