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Mother Of Slain Student Responds After U Announces Nearly $1M In Campus Safety Investments

Aug 15, 2019, 7:41 AM | Updated: 11:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah has announced it is investing almost $1 million to implement new recommendations made by the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety.

The $1 million will be an addition to the nearly $6 million already announced for campus safety, officials said.

The safety actions come after an independent review of the university’s response to the Lauren McCluskey case.

McCluskey’s mother, Jill McCluskey, said in a written response that the university needs to focus on changing the culture and hold people accountable:

“Matt and I applaud investments in campus safety. However, the University’s principal problem was the lack of response from the campus police to a female student’s multiple requests for help. One of Lauren’s friends told me, ‘On the Thursday before we lost Lauren she asked me to come to the library to meet her because she needed help. She said the police didn’t believe her about her scary ex and she didn’t know what to do.’ None of these investments in safety will change the culture. For real change to occur, the University of Utah needs to hold people accountable. They must take responsibility for what happened.”

According to the university’s press release, some of the safety improvements will include:

  • Make student parking available after 3 p.m. in lots adjacent to the Marriott Library, the Eccles Library and the Student Union
  • Cluster evening classes in quadrants, with corresponding alignment of campus transportation systems, courtesy escorts and campus security patrols
  • Expand emergency mass communication capability by adopting a system that allows emergency messages to be communicated within buildings, including via desktop and landline telephone systems, and broadcast throughout campus grounds
  • Add a Threat Assessment Team as an adjunct to the Behavioral Intervention Team, creating a two-team system capable of assessing both threats from outside and inside campus
  • Hire an additional consultant in the Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and an additional student conduct case manager in the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Increase self-defense training workshops on campus offered in conjunction with Survivors of Assault Standing Strong
  • Expand the online training module system used by the U to include faculty and staff and add additional online training modules for students
  • Contract with a third-party consulting firm to conduct a phased security assessment of all campus buildings and physical surroundings.

University officials say they also plan to hire a chief safety officer.

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Mother Of Slain Student Responds After U Announces Nearly $1M In Campus Safety Investments