Date: October 27, 2006
To: All U.Va. Students
From: Penny Rue, Dean of Students
Subject: Safety Reminders
This weekend we will return to standard time, which means less daylight in the evenings. As you go about your routines, please remember to take steps to guard your personal safety. Students have been the victims of several serious crimes this semester, and while overall crime in Charlottesville remains low, it is important that you stay vigilant.
* Call 911 from any phone, including your cell phone. You will be connected to a regional dispatcher who will send help based on your location.
* If on Grounds, just pick up one of the blue light telephones. You automatically will be connected to University Police.
* Be aware of your surroundings.
* Remember that talking on a cell phone or listening to an MP3 player can be distracting, especially if you are crossing the street or not paying attention to your surroundings.
* Avoid isolated areas.
* Avoid walking alone at night. Use SafeRide, walk with friends, or take a late-night weekend bus.
-- SafeRide provides service between midnight and 6 a.m. from Sunday night through Friday morning. On Saturdays and Sundays, SafeRide operates from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. The telephone number is 242-1122.
-- Late-night buses: Service for University buses is extended every Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m. when school is in session. Buses run every 15 minutes on the blue/orange lines. Complete details are at www.virginia.edu/parking.
* Use the lighted pathway system.
* Tell a friend where you are going and when you will return.
* Remember that alcohol use can dull judgment and lead to a false sense of security. When going out to a party, create a plan ahead of time with friends so you watch out for one another and get home safely.
* Trust your instincts about a person or situation. If you feel uncomfortable, immediately report your concerns to police by calling 911.
RESIDENCE HALL SAFETY
* Never allow strangers to follow you into the building.
* Call 911 if you see someone in the building who seems suspicious.
* Never prop open card reader doors or leave room doors open.
* Secure doors and windows prior to leaving.
* Keep doors and windows locked.
* Use outdoor lighting.
* Trim shrubs and trees to prevent the possibility of prowlers hiding in dense, darkened areas.
* Do not hesitate to contact police, by calling 911, about a person or situation that does not seem right. You will not have to give your name to police.
* If you see any of the following, immediately call the police at 911: a prowler; someone peeping into a residence; an individual watching, photographing or filming an area; or any other suspicious behavior.
* Work with your neighbors and fellow community members to ensure a safe environment.
IF YOU WITNESS A CRIME
Call 911 or anonymously provide information by going to the Crime Tips Web site.
REPORTING A BIAS INCIDENT
If you or someone you know witnesses a bias incident, help is available. The following Web site provides complete details on how to report the incident, what constitutes bias, and what you can expect in response from the University: www.virginia.edu/justreportit.
We care about your safety and want to be a partner with you in ensuring that the University community is as safe as possible. Please take your own welfare seriously, and watch out for one another.