The streets of Boulder are crowded with new and returning CU students. As Boulder’s population increases for the school year, so do university safety concerns.
The Boulder Police Department and the Campus Police are working together to make sure everyone is safe while enjoying the city. Cmdr. Robert Axmacher from the Campus Police recomended a few tips to keeping safe, especially when out with friends at night.
“Remember to use the buddy system,” Axmacher said. “Don’t walk home alone and don’t leave friends alone while out at night.”
Chynna Delgado, a 19-year-old junior and anthropology major, said being with others helps her feel safe when she’s out.
“When I’m with other people [I feel safe],” Delgado said. “Buddy system it up.”
Axmacher’s other tips include to switch directions, or head towards a lighted house or an open store if you think you are being followed, and to remember to be an active bystander and report anything you see.
Axmacher also said he recommends all students sign up for campus alerts to receive breaking news about campus.
In addition to sending out text messages, to those signed up for campus alerts, the university also sends out news alert emails with details of incidents and safety tips.
Delgado said the campus alerts are a great resource for finding out about incidents.
“The text messages and emails, those are helpful,” Delgado said. “One incident was right by my house, so that was good to know about.”
There has been an increase in incidents this summer in Boulder, including three separate robberies, all at gunpoint.
Axmacher said in response to the robberies the Campus Police and the Boulder Police Department have added extra safety precautions.
“CU Police are utilizing both bicycles and motorcycles to patrol the paths on and near campus,” Axmacher said. “These directed patrols are in addition to a higher Boulder Police presence in the areas of the bike path, downtown, and the University Hill.”
If a student is involved in an incident on campus or have been before arriving at CU there are multiple resources available through the university.
CU’s Office of Victim Assistance (OVA), located in the Center for Community, is a free on-campus resource for anyone associated with the university who may have been victim to traumatic experiences and is seeking support. Jessica Ladd-Webert, OVA’s assistant director, said services offered by the office extend to anyone victim to a traumatic incident and is not limited to when the event occurred.
“We are really here for any life-disrupting event that has recently happened or happened in the past,” said Ladd-Webbert. “We help people who have been physically assaulted, sexually assaulted, discriminated, harassment, sexually harassment, bias-motivated incidents, grief and loss, stalking, intimate partner abuse, natural disaster, international disasters, and other incidents.”
Ruchi Malhotra, a victim advocate at OVA, said that the office’s services are available to anyone affiliated with CU.
“We offer counseling and advocacy to students, staff and faculty and their partners or spouses,” Malhotra said.“We offer short-term counseling, which is approximately seven sessions, and we offer advocacy, that could look like many things, but it’s supporting people through navigating systems.”
For students who may have been victim to such an event, OVA aims to provide support by notifying professors of the student’s need, said Malhotra. OVA is also obligated to retain confidentiality.
For more information on available resources and safety tips, visit http://healthcenter.colorado.edu/health-education/on-campus-resources/ and http://www.colorado.edu/alerts.
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