U Of U Begins Safety Month With Dozens Of Safety Measures Implemented, Officials Say
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — University of Utah officials kicked off the school’s safety month by saying they have implemented almost all 30 changes and safety measures recommended by an independent task force following the murder of student Lauren McCluskey.
A variety of booths and attractions were set up Tuesday to kick off the university’s safety month, which comes one year after McCluskey was murdered on campus.
“The most important thing a university does is it holds students’ lives in its hands and we are absolutely and unequivocally committed to ensure that those students have a safe supportive environment to pursue their dreams,” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for academic affairs. “We want to hear from students who have any concerns. We want to discuss their fears we want to discuss their ideas.”
After the McCluskey murder, the university commissioned an independent task force, which recommended 30 changes and new safety measures be implemented. Reed said so far they’ve put 29 of the recommendations into place.
The only one left is to build a public safety building, which Reed said is going to take some time.
At the kickoff event outside the Union building, there was free food and booths to help students know what was available to help them feel safe on campus, from police escorts to a new rideshare program to support groups.
Police said it’s very important to build relationships with students.
“Anything we can do to kind of improve relationships. It’s vital because we want people to feel safe and secure on campus,” said Sergeant Ryan Speers with the University of Utah Police Department.
University officials said they are planning a variety of events all month long, but added safety doesn’t end at the end of the month — it’s a never-ending process.
“Building trust takes time,” Reed said. “Proof is in how we respond to that tragedy and only time can demonstrate the healing.”