Parents’ primary concern is the safety of their students. Iowa has a reputation as a safe place. Ironically, that may be why students and their belongings sometimes are not as safe as one might think.
Students are partners with the University in protecting their own safety, and help is available:
The Black & Gold Book for New Students, distributed at Orientation, lists offices or areas of the University dedicated to safety. There also is information on University web sites, including a crime prevention newsletter at www.uiowa.edu/~pubsfty.
Theft—especially of books, backpacks, bicycles, sound systems, and laptop computers—is the No. 1 reported crime on campus. Registering important belongings on the University’s Project ID web site, www.uiowa.edu/~pubsfty/projectid.htm, can help public safety officials trace serial numbers and ownership.
Rape Aggression Defense Training is a free, 12-hour course offered through the Department of Public Safety.
Code Blue telephones—22 in all—are strategically placed around campus to give students immediate access to UI police officers in emergencies. And Cambus runs frequently, for both convenience and safety.
The Department of Public Safety’s police division, with new headquarters in the University Capitol Centre in downtown Iowa City, sends sworn, certified police officers—including a police dog—to patrol the campus. They are graduates of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, with the same powers as police departments in the community. The department’s investigations division has specialized training in helping victims of sexual assault.
Parents can help students be proactive before moving to campus by encouraging them not to pack unnecessary items. Also, parents should stay in touch and continue to remind them about safety.
Lastly, residence hall officials offer students one simple bit of advice: be smart, lock your student room door, and be aware of what’s going on around you.