April 3, 2009
This Tulane Talk is a follow-up to one I wrote last semester, which focused on the subject of crime. Let me begin by stating that the physical safety and well-being of Tulane students, faculty and staff are our highest priorities as an institution.
This academic year, some of our female students have been victims of stranger rape while others have experienced acquaintance rape. These and any other crimes against members of the Tulane community weigh very heavily on my mind and heart. Crime, especially sexual assault of any kind, is an issue for all colleges and universities -- rural or urban. And, even though Tulane's crime statistics are comparable to other urban universities of similar size, we take no comfort in this fact.
This is why Tulane continues to take a proactive stance in crime prevention. Over the last year we have partnered with the New Orleans Police Department to increase the number of perimeter patrols on the streets surrounding campus, especially in areas frequented by students. We have increased the operating hours of our free shuttle services and continued our practice of making Tulane Police available 24 hours a day to escort any Tulane community member who feels unsafe. We have opened a police substation on Broadway and continue to improve lighting on and around campus.
We have also added 18 crime cameras around the uptown campus and by late April will begin installing 25 more around the perimeter of campus. Whenever the campus is threatened by a violent crime, the university sends out Crime Alerts via e-mail to the entire community. These alerts are also posted in residence halls and in other key locations throughout the campus. There are also a variety of educational programs offered each year to the campus community. These programs range from TUPD's Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) courses to programs targeting high-risk behaviors, date rape and overall personal safety. To learn more about these programs and how you can participate visit http://tulane.edu/publicsafety/crime-prevention.cfm.
In addition to the university's on-going crime prevention efforts, there is more we can do as individuals. As a member of the Tulane family, each of us is not only responsible for our own actions, but for the safety of other members of our community. Do not allow a friend to walk home alone or leave anyone behind in a bar. If you are going to drink, do so responsibly and make sure you always remain aware of your surroundings and circumstances. The most common theme in crimes against students is that they are alone and intoxicated when the crime occurs. This is why I implore you to make use of the resources at Tulane such as Safe Rides and TUPD escorts. Participation in these programs has greatly increased recently but should increase even more.
Unfortunately, crime is a challenge for all universities. But by taking advantage of the resources available to you and by making a commitment to take care of yourself and each other, we can overcome this challenge as we have so many others before it.
Have a great weekend,
Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638 firstname.lastname@example.org