Date: March 10, 2008
To: All Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Subject: Personal safety reminders
Welcome back from Spring Break. As your schedules become busier and your routines perhaps change with the start of Daylight Savings Time, I am writing to remind you to keep your personal safety in mind.
While Charlottesville remains a relatively safe environment, crimes do occur in our community. The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. A few key reminders:
* Trust your instincts about a person or situation. If you feel uncomfortable, immediately report your concerns to police by calling 911. The police want to emphasize you are not “bothering” them if you call. They definitely want you to call if you see something suspicious.
* If you are on the Grounds and need help, just pick up one of the blue-light telephones. You automatically will be connected to University Police.
* Be aware of your surroundings. Do not let a cellphone conversation or listening to music distract you when crossing the street or in another situation that calls for your full attention.
* Avoid isolated areas and walking alone at night. Use SafeRide (434-242-1122), walk with friends, or take a late-night weekend bus.
* Keep your doors and windows locked.
* Never allow strangers to follow you into a locked building and gain entry by “tailgating” you once you swipe the card reader in a residence hall. Also, never prop open card-reader doors.
* 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.
* For additional safety tips from University Police, please see http://www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/prevention.htm#Residence.
If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to sign up for U.Va. Alerts Text Messaging. This system enables us to relay emergency notices to you about ongoing events that present a significant danger to the health and safety of our community, such as severe weather or criminal activity on or near the Grounds.
Several colleges and universities have had to utilize similar systems in recent months. While we hope we won’t have to use ours here at U.Va., the possibility certainly exists. You are encouraged to sign up for this service today by going to https://www.virginia.edu/uvaalerts/.
Sexual Assault – Available Resources
This is a good opportunity to remind you of several resources that are available if you believe you, or a friend, has been a victim of a sexual assault. Sources of support include the Office of the Dean of Students, the Women’s Center, Counseling and Psychological Services in Student Health, Charlottesville's Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), and the Victim and Witness Assistance Programs for the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Students wishing to pursue disciplinary action through the University can do so through the University’s Sexual Assault Board.
For more information about the Sexual Assault Board, contact the Office of the Dean of Students by phone at 434-924-7133 or at www.virginia.edu/deanofstudents. Students are eligible to receive support through any of these channels regardless of whether they elect to pursue criminal, civil, or administrative remedies through the University.
In summary, 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 well-being seriously, and watch out for one another. If those of us in Student Affairs can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
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Last Modified: Monday, 17-Mar-2008 14:17:34 EDT
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