Safety, security programs give students voice, report focuses on campus crime

Sammi Yingst, General Staff

Where safety and security are involved, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is required by the Federal Government to release an annual report to students, staff and faculty. The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, sent to all UW-Platteville email recipients on Oct. 1, provides crime and fire statistics to the campus community and raises awareness of ways to stay safe.

“It was very helpful to have access to who to contact in case of certain emergencies. I will have an emergency action plan in mind instead of trying to figure out what to do in an emotional time,” Teagan Seneczko, junior Environmental Engineering major, said.
The report consists of security awareness programs, including how to keep oneself safe in the residence halls, drug and alcohol awareness, sexual assault prevention and awareness, general crime prevention, personal safety, and more. It contains statistics on crimes that have been reported on, around, or those associated with the campus over the past three years. The report also includes updated and new policies.

“Sexual violence is a reality. The statistics show that sexual assaults are occurring. We are a community of thousands of people and to think only ten assaults happened on campus last year makes me not confident in that number,” Chief of University Police Scott Marquardt said.

The data in the report is meant to create a safe and secure college experience.

“[We want to help] students develop the skills of bystander intervention, stepping in and intervening on behalf of other students when they see something that just doesn’t seem right or feel right,” Dean of Students Sherry Nevins said.

This year the focus is on dating violence, stalking, domestic violence and what precautions to take. It also informs students what to do in case of an emergency and what protocol to follow if something were to happen to an individual.

“The report speaks to sexual violence this year because the University wants people to be comfortable reporting it. They know it’s happening, but a lot of times it’s going unreported,” Marquardt said.

Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are also defined in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. They state education and prevention programs and the procedure for reporting a complaint. Assistance for victims can be provided and a list of resources for individuals to access whenever one should need it is included.

“We have to develop a culture where people are encouraged to report [emergencies and violence] so that we can provide resources, hold suspects accountable, support victims and create a community that’s free of sexual violence by shedding a light on it,” Marquardt said.

The 2014 UW-Platteville Annual Security and Fire Safety Report can be found here.