Safe Travels, November 21, 2013
Dear Students and Colleagues,
As we wrap up mid-terms and head into Thanksgiving week, I wanted to wish safe travels to all of you who are going home or getting out of town over the coming days. We’ll see you all back here in December, rested up and ready to tackle the last stretch toward finals week and commencement.
But before I send you off with wishes for a safe and happy holiday, I do want to say a little bit about safety here on our own campus.
It’s no secret that there have been a few recently reported stranger assaults — one sexual assault and two attempted assaults — on or near the campus that have put all of us on alert. (Visit safety.colostate.edu for more information on these investigations.) I can — and will — remind all of us that any kind of assault by a stranger is a very rare occurrence at CSU and in Fort Collins and that statistically and in comparison to other places this is a safe campus. But those kind of reassurances, while true, don’t keep any of us from worrying about the well-being of our friends and ourselves. And for those who have been survivors of sexual or interpersonal violence, news like this can be particularly difficult and stressful.
It’s important to let you know that both CSU and Fort Collins police are fully focused on these investigations. CSUPD has increased patrols in the areas where the attempted assaults have occurred.
We’ve also conducted two security assessments of the landscape and lighting in these areas, and have removed and pruned trees and shrubs around the Jack Christiansen track and added increased lighting in key places. We will immediately notify you of any breaking developments via text alerts, and all information — including safety tips and resources — is posted at safety.colostate.edu.
Although no one can prevent an assault but the person committing it, we each can and should empower ourselves with the resources and information for self-protection. Thanks to our Women and Gender Advocacy Center, CSUPD, the CSU Health Network, and Residence Hall programming, we have a remarkable array of programs and support services available at CSU for your use and to increase your knowledge around personal safety strategies. One important example is our SafeWalk program — it’s free, it’s convenient, and it’s available from dusk until dawn seven days a week just by calling (970) 491-1155. Especially while the days are short and darkness comes so early, I want to encourage all of us to be mindful of our surroundings, take reasonable precautions, and look out for one another.
I am personally thankful for all of you and for this great University community — and I consider it our highest priority to do all we can to ensure this campus remains a safe and welcoming environment for all of us.
Have a great break — enjoy some good food and a little down time — and I look forward to seeing you back on campus after the holiday.
Dr. Tony Frank