The University of Utah has an unwavering commitment to being an inclusive, respectful and safe community for all who work, study and visit our campus. There is no place for violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault or discriminatory behavior on our campus.
As a community, we seek to provide a supportive and safe environment where people of all backgrounds and perspectives are welcomed and valued. We may differ on many matters in the public sphere, but we recognize our common humanity.
All of us at the University of Utah have the opportunity to come together in a spirit of respect that advances our core values as an institution of higher learning and helps foster a model campus.
The SafeU website, launched in September 2017, is part of a broader institutional effort to reach that goal. It provides easily accessible and comprehensive information on a range of topics, from how to report a sexual assault to where to learn about bystander intervention training.
President Ruth V. Watkins reconvened the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety in December 2018 to assess overall general safety practices and resources on campus. The task force considered safety measures beyond those recommended by an independent team that reviewed the university’s actions in the Lauren McCluskey case.
Barb Snyder, then vice president for student affairs, and Michele Ballantyne, associate general counsel, co-chaired the task force, which included students, faculty and staff from across campus.
The task force submitted more than two dozen recommendations in July 2019, which President Watkins approved. The university will, in time, invest approximately $925,000 to implement the new recommendations, which are in addition to safety investments of approximately $6 million by other campus entities. The 2019 recommendations include:
• Hire a Chief Safety Officer
• Establish a threat assessment team
• Make student parking available after 3 p.m. in A lots, which are closer to buildings
• Cluster evening classes in neighborhoods and align with campus transportation systems, courtesy escorts and security patrols
• Create an institutional emergency communication and mass communication committee
• Expand emergency notification capability to the interior and exterior of buildings on campus
• Increase availability of self-defense training workshops on campus offered in conjunction with Survivors of Assault Standing Strong
Former U President David W. Pershing initially formed the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety in December 2017 and asked it to review and make recommendations related to four areas: prevention; physical safety; support personnel; and training. Barb Snyder, then vice president for student affairs, and Michele Ballantyne, associate general counsel, co-chaired the task force, which included students, faculty and staff.
The task force submitted its recommendations in May 2017, and President Pershing approved the proposals, an investment of approximately $400,000 in safety improvements. The need for a centralized comprehensive website dedicated to resources and support on campus emerged as a top priority. The 2017 recommendations included:
• Create a centralized, comprehensive campus safety website.
• Conduct a one-year awareness campaign to promote the new website and share educational prevention messages.
• Implement online mandatory training (Haven and Haven Plus) for students and newly hired staff and faculty beginning in fall 2018.
• Hire a new case manager and conduct staff member in the Office of the Dean of Students.
• Hire an additional victim advocate in the Center for Student Wellness.
• Increase the staff counselor in the Women’s Resource Center to full time.
• Increase lighting throughout campus.
We welcome your comments and suggestions for what we can do in our ongoing efforts to improve campus safety. We also welcome suggestions for additions and improvements to this website.
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