Staying Safe

   

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SUMMER 1998
Special Edition

IN THIS ISSUE

Weeks of Welcome

Staying Safe

Residence Halls

Staying Awake for Late Night Study


     

The safety of sons and daughters -- no matter where they are -- ranks among the major concerns of parents. The following information explains what the University does to keep students, parents, and the community informed about campus crime and its prevention.

 

Information for Parents

Public safety presentations during freshman orientation give information on crime statistics, prevention, and resources on campus for persons who are victims of crimes. The Handbook for New Students includes that same information.

Parent Times, sent to all parents three times a year, regularly covers issues relating to safety and security.

Under state law, certain police information is public, including the date, time, specific location, and immediate facts of a crime as well as the name and address of the person arrested and the criminal charge. This is available from the Department of Public Safety's daily report and arrest log.

 

Keeping Track of Crime

The UI campus is a relatively safe place, but certainly is not immune to crime. For the 1996 calendar year, 1,434 criminal incidents were reported to the Department of Public Safety. The most frequent crimes are theft (515), criminal mischief, which includes damage or destruction of property (256), alcohol and drugs (208), harassment (103) and burglary (100).

The University is required by federal law to publicize specific categories of crime reports and arrests on campus. Those categories and the number of reports for 1996 are murder (0), forcible sex offenses (4), non-forcible sex offenses (0), robbery (1), aggravated assault (8), burglary (100), motor vehicle theft (4), arrests for liquor law violations (183), arrests for drug law violations (44), and arrests for weapons possession (2).

In addition, the Office of the Vice President for Student Services produces a biennial report of non-academic disciplinary complaints.

Off-campus crime statistics are compiled by the Iowa City and Coralville police departments, as well as the Johnson County Sheriff's Department. A separate set of sexual assault statistics is available from the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.

 

On-Campus Safety

To ensure that students are secure on campus, the University provides professional law enforcement through the Department of Public Safety, whose police officers are trained and certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and have full arrest powers.

  • Public Safety patrols University-owned property 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on foot, on bicycles, and in squad cars.
  • Public Safety also has cooperative arrangements with Iowa City and Coralville Police, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.
  • For security purposes, outside building doors to every residence hall are locked from midnight to 6 a.m., seven days a week. During those hours, non-residents may enter only through the main entrance and as a guest of a resident.
  • In response to reports of fire or medical emergency, Public Safety notifies the Iowa City dispatcher for firefighters and ambulance service. Emergency medical care is provided at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
  • The University also provides or supports post-emergency and post-crime counseling services.
  • Other safety services include self-defense classes; Safewalk, which provides escorts for people walking on campus from 7 p.m. to midnight; Saferide, a bus service to residence halls and homes in the Iowa City/Coralville area; free whistles; and 15 outdoor emergency telephones located at critical points on the campus.

 

Safety Information for Students

The University undertakes programs to maintain an awareness of safety and security. This includes encouraging students to take an active role in deterring crime by reporting criminal and suspicious behavior and cooperating with authorities during criminal investigations.

For undergraduate students, programs are provided by the Orientation staff, Residence Services and its educational program office, Greek organizations, the Office of Campus Programs, the Department of Public Safety, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and the Women's Resource and Action Center.

Residence Services also works to raise safety awareness. "Door hangers" urge residents to keep their doors locked and to report strangers on their floor; a safety letter with tips, bulletin board safety tips, table tents is in all cafeterias, and in floor meetings resident advisers raise safety and security issues in general and report specific safety concerns. In addition, Residence Services is installing security peep holes in all residence hall room doors.

 

A Proactive Response To Campus Safety 

While The University of Iowa is one of the safest Big Ten schools, one can still find it to be unnerving to walk home alone at night. This fear might keep some students from using University resources when they need them.

Safewalk, a student-run volunteer organization that provides a campuswide evening escort service, is an option for reducing the risk of sexual assault and other violence. The program works closely with the Women's Resource Action Center (WRAC), the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and the Department of Public Safety.

Funded by the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) and housed at WRAC, Safewalk was founded by a group of undergraduate students who were concerned about safety on campus. Volunteers attend training sessions and are screened through the state Department of Criminal Investigations. Currently, volunteers provide more than 1,000 hours of service to the program.

All students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors can request a walk from one campus location to another from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

 

Questions About Safety

If you have a question or concern about security on campus, contact Phillip E. Jones, Vice President for Student Services, 114 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, phone (319) 335-3557. Questions about crime statistics also can be answered by Charles Green, Director of the Department of Public Safety, 131 South Capitol, Iowa City, IA 52242, (319) 335-5022, charles-green@uiowa.edu.

 

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