Safety Student Forum addresses fear and frustrations

MUPD+Police+Chief+Edith+Hudson+spoke+to+campus+community+members+at+a+campus+safety+student+forum+last+Wednesday

Photo by Alex DeBuhr

MUPD Police Chief Edith Hudson spoke to campus community members at a campus safety student forum last Wednesday

After recent events of crime on campus, the President’s Task Force on Community Safety announced the approval of seven immediate action steps to address safety and security on campus and in the community.

Marquette University Student Government and the President’s Task Force on Community Safety hosted a Campus Safety Student Forum March 30 at Marquette Hall to discuss these new action steps and get feedback from campus. 

“The last seven days have been really challenging and if you pay attention to the safety alerts, probably pretty alarming,” Edith Hudson, chief of Marquette University Police Department, said.

The Campus Safety Student Forum allowed students to voice their concerns and ask the task force members questions about their short- and long-term plans regarding campus safety.

“I think from a student perspective, sometimes it feels like things aren’t really getting done. They say all these things are being talked about but I think it’s important to be able to hear what they’re actually doing when it feels kind of frustrating,” Morgan Guetschow, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, said.

The forum’s topics of discussion included LIMO services and accessibility, MUPD presence on and off campus, campus buildings and residence hall security, a package distribution center on campus, street lighting and the communication between MUPD and the student community.

During the student forum, students brought up suggestions regarding how to make the LIMO process safer, creating more safety content for Orientation and how to better communication and relationships between students and MUPD.

Hudson said the task force is focusing on fear reduction by providing these action steps.

The new action steps include adding more police patrols, security officers and LIMO drivers on campus. The task force will also work with Near West Side Partners to expand their Ambassador program to Marquette.

“What we want to do is address that fear that is really just running rampant among our students right now,” Hudson said.

The task force also plans to install more security cameras and make residence halls and other campus buildings more secure.

“We want to balance those measures that we take that tend to make sure us feel safe by locking things down with the fact that we still want our urban environment to be active and we want Marquette to be a welcoming place and a place that you feel safe,” Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management at Marquette and a safety task force member, said.

There are currently 1,100 cameras on campus but the university will install more cameras to further augment real-time campus visibility to MUPD over the course of the next several months. Strigens also said the university will assess how to enhance lighting levels throughout campus to make it safer.

By next fall, the university will implement the new building access protocol in residence halls, currently in place at the Alumni Memorial Union and Humphrey Hall.

The task force also plans to expand safety content at SPARK and Orientation. 

“What this really has to do with is where are we taking advantage of opportunities to reinforce and teach people about personal safety? Where are we also helping students understand how to intervene in certain circumstances?” Stephanie Quade, dean of students in the Office of Student Development and a safety task force member, said.

Hudson urges students to submit ideas or questions to the Safety Task Force and download the Eagle Eye app.

The President’s Task Force on Community Safety will have long-term written recommendations by May 1 and the final task force meeting will be May 31, when the group transitions to an operational implementation team.

This story was written by Bailey Striepling. She can be reached at bailey.striepling@marquette.edu.