Safety Improves on NU’s Chicago Campus
Reported crimes against persons and property have dropped significantly during the past three years on the Northwestern University Chicago Campus, according to University Police statistics reported at a town hall meeting on campus safety held February 20 in Turnbull Auditorium. Crimes against persons dropped from 18 in 2000 to 1 in 2002 and against property from 176 to 133 (these are mostly theft) during the same period.
Much of this progress may be due in part to the Chicago Campus Safety Committee’s work with University Police, Facilities Management, University Services, and other key areas. The committee sponsored the town hall meeting to solicit ideas for further improvement in crime reduction, communication systems, and overall campus safety.
Formed in January 2001 and including nearly two dozen members representing the various schools and administrative offices on campus, the committee has worked tirelessly on a number of initiatives to improve campus safety. The group helped establish a late night shuttle service for the Chicago campus called SafeRide that offered its first ride on April 1, 2002, as well as an anti-violence policy for the entire University expected to be implemented next fall. Ongoing campus safewalks are held to assess lighting changes, trimming of shrubbery, the addition of emergency phones, and other safety enhancements.
Suggestions made at the town hall meeting include placing call boxes in locked stairwells of campus buildings, communicating the existing evacuation and emergency response plans, and wearing identification badges at all times in certain buildings.
Although systems and services can be added to enhance campus safety, members of the University community were urged to do their part. These actions might include not propping open locked doors, reporting suspicious activity to University Police, and locking the doors to offices and laboratories when no one is there.
For further information about the Chicago Campus Safety Committee or to become involved, contact committee chair Elisabeth (Biz) Lindsay, director of the Chicago Campus Women’s Center, at 312/503-3401.