Campus safety awareness month

Now more than ever, campus safety has been a hot topic across colleges across the nation. Every September, colleges and universities promote initiatives during Campus Safety Awareness Month.

The University of New Haven Police Department has been recognized for its commitment to keeping its campus safe by engaging in helpful dialogue with students. Officers Onoria Sierra and James Mroczka were recently awarded a MADD Certificate of Appreciation for education and community involvement.

Making sure students and faculty are aware and practicing social distancing has become an added component to campus safety initiatives as the spread of COVID-19 cases has increased across the country. The university has put policies in place to curb the spread of the virus so that students are at low-risk of contracting it.

On Sept. 19, Officer James Baker met with Westside Hall residents for a “Meet and Greet” and to facilitate a discussion on safety. This program occurs during a regular academic year. Police officers are assigned to a dorm hall where residents are invited to participate in a “Meet and Greet” with that officer. The police department is still actively working at keeping students educated on campus safety procedures while staying within the guidelines of the school’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Sargent Luis Dos Santos, the police department’s community outreach coordinator, who oversees all the campus police to student programming, spoke about what he thinks is the best way for students to take precautions during this time:

“Follow the outlines that the COVID Task Force set forth. I’m sure everyone’s looked at them online,” he said. “My basic recommendation is to follow those guidelines and abide by them. I know it can be an inconvenience walking around with the mask on but it’s just to keep everyone safe. I’m sure we’ll get through this, it’s not going to last forever”.

“I feel the student body is really handling all these new rules super well,” said junior communication major Maddie Oliver. “We haven’t had any serious increase in cases at our school and I feel it is because we are all working together to try and be able to stay at the University throughout this semester since it already is short enough.”

Students can directly make sure the campus stays safe by utilizing the “Report It, Don’t Ignore it” Reporting Options on the university’s website for incidents regarding crime, behavioral intervention, bias, and COVID-19 violations.