Over the course of the last several weeks, there have been several well-publicized incidents that have raised concerns and heightened awareness about safety on and around our campus. Many of you have expressed concerns about safety on and near campus.
Yesterday, Dr. Proenza announced a series of actions to help ensure that we continue to provide a safe and comfortable living and learning environment for our residence hall community. I want to take the opportunity to share his message with you so you are aware of the information he has put forth, specifically as it relates to several procedural changes in our residence halls. In short, we will be paying special attention to those rare occasions when the age difference between roommates is greater than five years, and we will be asking about applicants' criminal history on residence hall applications. Please read all of the details in President Proenza's message here.
I want you to know that we are committed to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. Though crime is an unfortunate fact of life in our nation and on all college campuses, we are constantly striving to improve campus safety and security, enhance university polices and procedures that address matters of community safety and stress the importance of incorporating safety into one's daily routine.
Universities across the nation grapple with the challenges that present themselves when balancing security concerns with the freedom and privacy required for students on a university campus. Ours is no different.
Statistically, however, our campus crime data would suggest less-than-average criminal activity for our size student population, but that provides little reassurance when even one student is victimized or, when, in our most recent events, we come to know that individuals with criminal histories have been identified as living in our residence halls. As we all know, university campuses are a microcosm of society; thus, as we live often unknowingly among individuals with criminal histories in our home communities, so too do we share our academic community with individuals who may have criminal histories. The policy changes that Dr. Proenza has set forth will now enable our residence hall staff to take additional steps and put extra precautions in place so that our resident students who share such close quarters with one another will know that we have done our best to ensure that they can live and learn in as safe and comfortable environment as possible.
Information has been shared with you recently about the additional measures that have been put in place to police and patrol the communities that surround our campus where so many of our students work and live. To ensure that you are aware of the measures that have been put in place by our University Police and to be reminded of the safety precautions that all of us are encouraged to take, as well as be reminded of how to report suspicious or criminal activity, please read again the information that was shared with us over the last several weeks here.
No university can guarantee the safety of its students. However, with all of us working together and recognizing that safety on and around our campus is everyone's responsibility, our campus can be a safer place in which all of us can live, work and learn.
Best wishes for a safe and restful winter break.
Denine M. Rocco
Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life