From VC Coffin and VC Vale: Safety begins with us

November 21, 2013

The Chancellor has clearly stated a top goal for him is to ensure this is a welcoming and safe environment for everyone, and as such, we want you to be aware of what we are doing to improve safety communications.

During the fall semester, several emails were sent related to possible or actual crimes that may have occurred around the campus. The campus is seeing an increase in these types of communication for two primary reasons:

  • The Chancellor has directed our police and communications personnel to step up the level of communications we send, to create better awareness of all possible threats to safety in order to make the campus as safe as possible.
  • The Federal Clery Act requires timely warnings are provided to the campus for certain types of crimes. It is our goal to be vigilant in meeting all of these requirements. In each case, we determine if there is a need to communicate to the campus to ensure people are aware of a possible crime -- even if that crime is not yet fully verified – if we think there might be a threat to our community.

This approach may have created the impression that CU-Boulder is less safe than it used to be, but the data shows that the overall trend this year is not out of the range of what we’ve seen in the past.

We have had nine such Clery Timely Warnings so far this calendar year, two of which were related to incidents that, upon further investigation, did not turn out to be actual crimes. For the 2012 calendar year, there were eight warnings, but only six actual crimes.

Another aspect of safety we must address is many students indicate they do not feel safe on campus, due to prevailing attitudes, feelings of exclusion and acts of hostility and bias. We must work together to resolve these experiences and each of us must behave in a respectful manner and contribute to making CU-Boulder a welcoming place to study and live. Those efforts must begin and end with each of us. We will continue to promote positive interactions by being responsive to concerns, encouraging dialogue, providing education and a creating a welcoming community as antidotes to prejudice, racism and bigotry.

We believe the basic elements of a safe campus include an alert, vigilant population that employs caution and awareness at all times and takes action to report crimes in progress; a police force with a strong presence on campus; and good lighting, safe pathways and public thoroughfares. We are focusing on each of these elements in partnership with our student government and other law enforcement agencies.

We are confident that improved safety practices and individual commitments to more positive interactions, when taken together, will move us toward an environment that creates a community that is safe and welcoming for all.

 

Sincerely,

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Deb Coffin
Vice Chancellor for Administration, Louise Vale

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