By Brooke Adams, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications
The colors are straight from the ’60s but the message of posters showing up around campus is about the here and now: Everyone on the U campus has a part to play in making this a safe, inclusive campus for all — to make a pact to act.
The posters announce the roll-out of a new, comprehensive website that brings together information about campus safety, from how to report sexual assault to where to sign up for bystander intervention training and much more.
The SafeU website will be accessible on the menu bar at the top of the U’s main homepage.
The website is one of the initiatives undertaken by the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety, formed by U President David W. Pershing earlier this year to review the university’s approach to safety and how its response could be improved and better promoted. Barb Snyder, vice president for student affairs, and Michele Ballantyne, associate general counsel, co-chaired the task force.
“A major theme that emerged from the task force meetings as well as campus listening sessions is that safety information needs to be more readily accessible,” Snyder said. “Awareness, education and prevention must be a campus-wide commitment.”
A fall 2012 survey found that a majority of students report they feel safe on campus but also don’t know what’s being done to improve safety or where to find resources.
With that in mind, the task force made the new website its highest priority. The task force also recommended — and Pershing approved:
- A one-year awareness campaign
- Mandatory training on anti-discrimination and sexual assault/harassment prevention for all students and new staff and faculty beginning in fall 2018
- A new case manager and conduct staff member for the Dean of Students Office
- An additional victim advocate in the Center for Student Wellness
- Increasing hours to full time for a sexual assault counselor in the Women’s Resource Center
- Increased lighting through campus
“This list represents what we believe to be reasonable first steps,” Ballantyne said.
Snyder and Ballantyne will continue to oversee ongoing efforts to improve campus safety.