Dear Truly: Campus public safety options available

Dear Truly,

So I am a graduate student here on campus and I never feel very connected to all of the information undergraduate students receive, particularly campus safety related information. I did not receive the same orientation undergraduate students do with ROAR and feel like I am missing something here.  I know that if I park in the parking lot I will get a ticket, sweet goodness they are expensive, which I assume is from the campus police, I know that there is some sort of campus police because I think I see a police car driving around. Again, however, as a graduate student I am really only on campus at night so I am assuming that there aren’t any campus police because I don’t see any. I guess I am just really confused about what is out there for police services and safety.

The other night it was pretty foggy out and as I was walking to my car I started to feel a little concerned. I wouldn’t say there was a dark figure walking quickly toward me or any other frightening activity, I would just say I had a feeling and it was hard to ignore. I saw the big blue light thing and though about pushing the “emergency” button but it wasn’t an emergency and I don’t even know how those things work, I didn’t want to make a scene or get in trouble.  So as an alternative I sort of jogged to my car looking silly.

Please help me. I don’t know what services are out there, I don’t know how our campus safety and police services work, I don’t know how I would get ahold of them, I don’t know if this area is safe for me to be walking around after my night classes alone and I certainly don’t know what the big blue beacon light things are.

Sincerely, Scared Silly


Scared Silly,

I am sorry you felt scared on campus, however, I do have ideas that I think will make you feel safer on campus at night.

To answer your question, we do have campus police. Their office is located in VDEN 160. In an emergency, either call 911 from any campus phone or press the red button on the blue beacons situated in multiple locations. In a non-emergency situation, you can contact them at 360-546-9001.

As far as walking to your car, you can ask Public Safety for an escort to walk with you to your car or a free emergency whistle. You can request an escort by calling 546-9001 or paging an officer at (360) 690-1527. With the emergency whistle, another person would call 911 for you and a campus police officer would come. Another suggestion I have is to plan to park near a classmate of yours so you can walk together to your cars. Not only is that beneficial safety-wise, but also gives you an opportunity to review what you learned in class or in the readings. Or, let’s be honest, talk about the person who made a comment during class discussion that really annoyed you.

Lastly, I recommend wearing some kind of reflective gear while walking to your car. Fashionable dark colors are fine during the day but make it hard for drivers to see you at night.


Be safe,

Yours, Truly

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