Campus News

Recent crime prompts safety communication efforts

By: Meredith Francis

In light of recent, more serious crime reports on and around Xavier’s campus, the Student Government Association (SGA) Executives and Xavier Police are encouraging students to get informed about the campus safety protocol.

SGA Executives are currently planning an initiative to promote safety communication techniques. Within one week, there were separate reports of a major theft from Fenwick Place and an armed robbery at Idlewild and Dana Avenues.

According to SGA President Drew Dziedzic, the safety communication initiative is part of an ongoing process to properly inform students of the different “incident levels” and the corresponding ways in which Xavier Police informs students of a recent crime.

“The initiative will likely be a large push through social media and other communication techniques to remind students of how they can keep themselves safe on campus,” Dziedzic said.

Last April, it came to the attention of previous SGA Executives that many students were not being promptly informed of major crimes near Xavier’s campus. After an off-campus shooting near Dana Avenue, a Change.org petition circulated campus that requested a method of communication so that students could be more informed.

The petition received roughly 700 digital signatures, which prompted a response from Campus Police, the Office of Audit and Risk Management, both the outgoing and incoming SGA Executives and other campus administrators. They then created the incident levels and communications response system that is now in place. However, Dziedzic said that because of the SGA Executive transition, the issue lost steam over the summer and it is now time to inform the student body.

According to last April’s press release, Incident Level 1 “occur(s) when there is an incident, either on or off campus that…constitutes an ‘imminent and ongoing threat’ to the Xavier community.” A “timely warning” is then issued through text messages, emails and phone calls to students that have signed up for XU Alert Me notifications.

Incident Level 2 occurs when a violent crime is committed on campus or within a one-block radius of campus, but does not pose an immediate threat. In order to receive public safety notices via XU Alert Me, students must sign up for XU Alert Me and join the “Xavier Public Safety Notice Group.” This incident level will also be posted on the @Xavier_ Safety Twitter page. It is this distinction that often confused students who may have wondered why they did not hear about a crime on campus. “The lack of widespread knowledge of different levels is a setback we’re facing, but the benefit is once you opt into the level two alerts, students will be informed of incidents as they develop,” Dziedzic said.

There is also an Incident Level 3, which consists of “potential threats” after a pattern of crime, like theft or burglary. This level results in a public safety notice through the Xavier campus safety website and on the @Xavier_ Safety Twitter page.

“It’s important to keep in mind even though we have all these safety communication tools, it’s still important for students to be vigilant when walking to and from campus,” Dziedzic said.

For students who only receive the Incident Level 1 notifications and would like to receive updates on Incident Level 2 crimes, go to http://www.xavier.edu/safety, click on the Safety Communications Protocol and follow the link to the XU Alert Me sign-up page.