The U committed this fall to invest more than $6 million on campus safety initiatives over the next several years, from hiring more security officers for health sciences buildings to installing new security systems in older residential buildings.
Approximately $1 million will be spent to implement recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety. At the top of its more than two dozen proposals: Hire a chief safety officer to coordinate and oversee safety initiatives on campus. That individual is expected to be in place by spring semester.
“Safety is a top priority for our campus, and the task force brought forward many good ideas,” says President Ruth Watkins. “We are determined to make this institution as safe as it can be.”
Other changes made or in progress include giving students access to many parking stalls and lots adjacent to buildings after 3 p.m.; clustering evening classes in six general “neighborhoods” and aligning these areas with mass transportation, our courtesy escort service, and campus security patrols; and expanding emergency mass communication to alerts mounted on the interior and exterior of buildings. The U also has launched a new initiative to advance research on best practices for preventing violence against women. More than 30 faculty members are already participating in this project.
In response to many student requests, Commuter Services this fall also introduced SafeRide, an on-demand evening shuttle service. Students, faculty, and staff can use the TapRide app on their cell phones to request a ride from and to any campus location between 6 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.
This service complements the existing shuttle bus and courtesy escort services. “I think the program demonstrates to students that meaningful changes are happening on campus,” says AnnaMarie Barnes, ASUU student body president.
To learn more about campus safety, visit safeu.utah.edu.