Serious on Safety

Campus Safety Messages

 

Campus Safety: Calling All Tritons (sent 8/8/2014)

Please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu with any non-emergency safety related questions or concerns. In an emergency, immediately contact the UMSL Police at 314-516-5155 or by dialing 911 from an on-campus land line phone.

 To the UMSL community:

As the fall semester is quickly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all students, faculty and staff back to campus. The start of a new school year is always an exciting time of possibilities and opportunities for meeting new people, reconnecting with friends and colleagues, and reflecting on  goals for the coming semester. Although some goals may change from year to year, one objective remains consistent for the university:  promoting a safe and aware campus environment.

One of the qualities that makes our campus a true community is the willingness to look out for and support one another.  In a recent campus-wide poll, 92% of UMSL students surveyed said that they would want a friend to reach out and help, and 71% would want another student—even one they did not know—to help if needed.  One of the most important ways that you can help your Triton colleagues is by noticing situations that raise safety concerns and accessing resources for assistance.  In order to help you identify the best office to contact in a variety of situations, we created the Campus Safety Chart which is attached to this message for easy review.

 Registering for the university’s Emergency Notification System is the best way to stay informed of situations that may affect the safety of the campus community.  You’ll have information sent right to your cell phone about any immediate safety threats as they emerge.  And if you’re ever looking for specifics on where to turn and what to do in response to an emergency, the new UMSL Serious On Safety (SOS) website has you covered.  On this website you’ll find the aforementioned Campus Safety Chart, a list of campus and community resources, and tips on how to report and respond to behavioral or other safety concerns.  The SOS site is also where you’ll find the new Campus Safety Video, in which Louie and some fellow students learn more about staying safe on campus.

 One additional resource that you may have noticed around campus is the new “What to do in an emergency” poster. Copies are posted prominently throughout the North and South Campuses, listing safety strategies for emergency situations like fires or earthquakes.

As always, please keep in mind that the UMSL Police are available 24/7 to assist you.  If you have questions about any of the information contained in this letter, or want to know more about our ongoing efforts to promote a safer campus, please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu.  

I wish each of you the best for a safe and successful academic year.
                       
Tom George, Chancellor

 


Campus Safety: A Team Effort (sent 6/10/2014)

Please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu with any non-emergency safety related questions or concerns. In an emergency, immediately contact the UMSL Police at 314-516-5155 or by dialing 911.

 To the UMSL community:

 As we are now a few weeks into the summer semester, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all students, faculty and staff. Though we are beginning our summer semester on a positive note, some campuses are not so fortunate. As many of you are probably aware, both the University of California, Santa Barbara and Seattle Pacific University recently experienced horrific incidents of violence which claimed the lives of students and resulted in numerous injuries. 

 While it’s natural to experience a heightened sense of anxiety in the aftermath of such tragedies, it’s also important to remember that, on average, college students experience violent crime at lower rates compared to non-students1.  But because no campus is immune from the threat of violence, at UMSL we regularly review our safety protocols and look for ways to enhance our security initiatives.  Campus safety is truly a team effort that involves all of us—students, faculty and staff – so it’s important that we all have access to real–time information on emerging threats, and to know where to find campus resources that can assist in case of an emergency. 

 Registering for the university’s Emergency Notification System is the best way to stay informed of situations that may affect the safety of the campus community.  You’ll have information sent right to your cell phone about any immediate safety threats as they emerge.  And if you’re ever looking for specifics on where to turn and what to do in response to an emergency, the new UMSL Serious On Safety website has you covered.  You’ll find a list of campus and community resources, along with tips on how to report and respond to behavioral or other safety concerns. 

 One additional resource that you may have noticed around campus is the new “What to do in an emergency” poster.  Copies are posted prominently throughout North and South Campus, listing safety strategies for emergency situations.  A copy of the poster is attached to this message for easy review.

 As always, please keep in mind that the UMSL Police are available 24/7 to assist you.  If you have questions about any of the information contained in this letter, or want to know more about our ongoing efforts to promote a safer campus, please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu.  

 I wish each of you a safe and enjoyable summer.

 Tom George, Chancellor

 1 Baum, K., Klaus, P. (2005). Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995-2002. BJS Special Report. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ 206836.


Campus Safety: The UMSL Response (sent 3/6/2014)

Please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu with any non-emergency safety related questions or concerns. In an emergency, immediately contact the UMSL Police at 314-516-5155 or by dialing 911.
 

To the UMSL community:

 I would like to express my gratitude to each of you for reading my previous email message about campus safety.  And special thanks go out to those who have responded with ideas and suggestions for enhancing our security efforts.  The level of support for safety from our students, staff and faculty confirms that UMSL is a community rich in diversity, united by purpose and committed to supporting one another.

 As a continuation of this ongoing conversation, I would like to introduce a critical component of our overall safety and well-being initiatives: the UMSL Stalking, Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Response Protocols.  These standards, developed last semester and approved by Provost Cope in January, are a reflection of a tragic reality:  it’s estimated that as many as one in five women1 are the victims of completed or attempted sexual assault during the course of their college careers.  The rates of intimate partner violence and stalking are equally troubling: it’s estimated that approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men2 are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year, and one study found that 5% of female students3 reported that they had been stalked in a 7-month period. These crimes affect us all, regardless of gender, cultural background or sexual orientation.  

 It’s especially important for those who have been victimized to have prompt and ready access to all of the supports our campus can provide.  Survivors of trauma often feel frightened and overwhelmed, and may be unsure of where to turn for help.  The Response Protocols, which I’ve attached to this message, are designed to help clear up that uncertainty and to help ensure that victims of violence and stalking here at UMSL are aware of their options and the resources available to them.  

 Some of the important features of the Response Protocols include:

• A Bill of Rights for victims of sexual assault or intimate partner violence

• UMSL procedures for responding to disclosures of sexual assaults, stalking, and intimate partner violence by students

• Campus and community resources for those affected by such incidents

• Legislative background on the Violence Against Women Act and its current application to colleges and universities

 Even one incident of assault or stalking is too many.  And while it’s important for victims to know where to get help, another vital part of our safety efforts is to prevent such tragedies before they occur.  In my next safety email, I’ll include information about the new "Serious on Safety" website which compiles important safety resources in one place for easy reference.

 I look forward to continuing this conversation with you in the weeks ahead.

 Tom George, Chancellor

 1 Fisher, B.S., F.T. Cullen, and M.G. Turner. 2000. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. NIJ Research Report. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ 182369.

 2 Tjaden, P., and N. Thoennes. 2000. Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey . Research Report. Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCJ 183781.

 3 Fisher, B., F. Cullen and M. Turner. 2002. Being Pursued: Stalking Victimization in a National Study of College Women. Criminology and Public Policy 1, 257-308.


Campus Conversation on Safety (sent 2/21/2014)

For more information, please contact-- Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu

 To the UMSL community:

Of all my responsibilities as Chancellor, none is more important than promoting a safe learning and working environment.  While I’m proud that UMSL is one of the safest universities in the state, maintaining a high standard of safety and security does not happen by accident.  It’s a team effort that starts with our outstanding students, faculty, and staff and extends to our Police Department.

Central to that effort is our ability to report potential safety concerns when they emerge.  Some good advice I’ve heard repeatedly is, simply, to “trust your gut.”  If something doesn’t look or seem right to you, don’t hesitate to let someone know.  Notify the police, tell a friend, tell a professor, contact one of the many campus offices available to assist you…but above all - don’t keep your concerns to yourself.  Taking just a few minutes to call for assistance can make all the difference in preventing a potential tragedy.

 Most of us are familiar with safety recommendations, but they bear repeating.  Because theft is the most common crime on university campuses, don’t leave your valuables unattended, even for a few minutes.  When walking at night, try to walk in groups as much as possible, or call the Police for an escort if you’re alone.  And in case of an emergency, be sure to have the UMSL Police number (314-516-5155) saved to your phone so that you can dial them directly.  Calling 911 from a cell phone on campus will connect you with the County Police, which can delay the response time.

 In addition to those recommendations, UMSL has initiated some campus safety efforts within the past few years that may be less familiar to you.  These include:

 As important as these efforts are, they’re not the end of the story.  We have several new initiatives in the works, including a website that will compile all the safety resources in one place for easy reference and a brief video clip summarizing the most important elements of staying safe on campus.

My hope is that this letter will be the beginning of an ongoing campus dialogue about safety.  It’s in that spirit that I will be sending out additional messages in the coming weeks, describing in greater detail the offices and programs that are at the forefront of our safety initiatives.  In the meantime, please contact Officer Dan Freet, Campus Safety Coordinator, at freetd@umsl.edu with any non-emergency safety related questions or concerns.

Thank you for joining me in this effort, and for all that you do for the UMSL community.                

Tom George, Chancellor