UW-Madison reaches out to students amid crime concerns
Demand for SAFEwalk program has ballooned by 75 percent
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is reaching out to its students in an attempt to help keep them safe.
A week of online chats led to Sunday night’s town hall meeting, set up so students could question campus leaders over recent crime.
Despite concerns, only a handful of students showed to the meeting at Tripp Commons.
UW Police Chief Sue Riseling and UW Dean of Students Lori Berquam headed up the conservation.
Before the meeting, both stated their hopes that Sunday’s meeting would prevent more students from becoming victims.
“We're here to help,” said Riseling. “We want to help and we want to engage and have this dialogue continue.”
“Put our heads together and figure out what are the other things that we could be doing and how do we also engage students to take care of other students,” Berquam said about the goals of the meeting.
Much of the conversation centered around SAFEwalk, a service that provides walking escorts throughout most of the UW campus.
The service is reporting that demand has jumped 75 percent in the last year.
“My good friends from freshman year had a house that was robbed over on Lathrop so I'm pretty close to some of the situations as well,” said Lindsay Mosher, a SAFEwalk worker. “I've been working at SAFEWALK for 2 years and my roommates have never used the service and now they do.”
At the meeting, university officials handed out pamphlets with tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
Those tips included being aware of surroundings while in potential vulnerable situations, meaning that students should limit phone and ear bud/headphone usage.
Also, students were advised to let friends know when they leave and when they expect to get home.
And, of course, students were reminded to take advantage of SAFEwalk.
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