March 11 Campus Safety Update; Forum at 5 p.m.

Posted on March 11th, 2011 by

March 11, 2011

To: Gustavus students, faculty, and staff
From: Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jeff Stocco

I write with today’s update, following the two attempted sexual assaults reported on the Gustavus campus last weekend.

The St. Peter Police Department continues its investigation of these incidents. If you have any information that you think could be helpful, please contact the St. Peter Police Department at 507-931-1550, or take advantage of our anonymous online Silent Witness program https://gustavus.edu/safety/silentwitness/. If you see any suspicious activity, please call Campus Safety immediately, at 507-933-8888.

Last night approximately 500 people came to Christ Chapel for “Take Back the Night,” an event centering on sexual assault. It began with four speakers sharing information, thoughts, personal experiences, and advice for all those in attendance. For gender-specific dialogue, the men headed to Alumni Hall and the women remained in the Chapel. The women then walked around the Chapel to symbolically reclaim their campus. The two groups then reconvened together outside around a fire, and threw their thoughts, feelings, fears, and stories into it. This event was a wonderful show of strength and opportunity for growth on our campus. We thank all those who were able to participate.

We have held forums every night this week in order to give students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to hear Campus Safety updates, ask questions, and engage in dialogue. Tonight’s forum is at 5 p.m. in the St. Peter Room in the Campus Center. We hope you can attend. We are particularly interested in your suggestions for next steps in our community dialogue.

Please keep in mind the safety tips we have shared in previous midday update e-mails and at the forums this week. For example, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid traveling campus alone. Take advantage of the SafeRides program at 14 stops around campus, https://gustavus.edu/safety/documents/SafeRidesmap.pdf. You may also request individual escort rides from Campus Safety at 507-933-8888.

We recognize that there are many measures that can contribute to personal safety. In the past, Peer Assistants and Campus Safety have provided safety whistles to campus community members. With that in mind, the College has ordered safety whistles and will make them available at no cost to all members of the community. We expect them to arrive by Monday, March 14, and will confirm this in our midday update email on Monday. They will be available at the Office of Residential Life, Dean of Students Office, and Campus Safety.

Some have asked about mace/pepper spray. Gustavus does not distribute or sell such items. If you decide to purchase mace/pepper spray, we encourage you to have the retailer train you on proper handling and usage.

 

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