UofL students sign online petition requesting better safety measures

Students believe that safety should be the university’s responsibility, and an online petition...
Students believe that safety should be the university’s responsibility, and an online petition is pleading with UofL officials to make specific changes.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:35 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:42 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Students at the University of Louisville are speaking out about safety concerns on and around campus as assaults and theft reports have risen.

Kelsi Sego said she takes safety into her own hands.

“I carry a pocketknife, I carry a taser, I carry pepper spray just because I’m so scared if somebody’s going to come up behind me and grab me or harass me,” Sego said.

Students believe that safety should be the university’s responsibility, and an online petition is pleading with UofL officials to make specific changes. It focuses on three areas: the first is honest and timely RAVE alerts; the second is safe and quick transportation options; and the third is changes to the requirements for living on campus.

The petition can be found here.

Lou Hornung is one of about 2,500 people who have signed the petition. They said they witnessed a shooting last year on campus but never got a RAVE alert.

“There were people walking around 20 minutes later because they didn’t know,” Hornung remembered. “Even if you don’t have full details, it would be nice to be like, ‘Hey, there was a shooting on campus — just be safe for a little bit.”

Sierra Spell said communication doesn’t seem much better this year, saying a recent alert mentioned alleged assaults in previous months.

“I’m like, ‘Well, why didn’t you tell us that when it first occurred rather than waiting numerous times, and then waiting until the next month?’” Spell said.

Sego said she wants to feel comfortable on campus.

“I just want to be here to further my education and learn more,” she said. “I don’t want to be scared of someone lurking around.”

The University sent an email to students on Tuesday, highlighting safety updates. Read the full statement below:

The University provides services for victims of sexual assault and other crimes. If you need to report an immediate crisis situation related to partner violence, sexual assault, stalking or harassment, please call ULPD at (502) 852-6111.

Other services include:

  • The PEACC Center is available during normal business hours to provide confidential support to survivors of power based personal violence. Call (502) 852-2663 or after hours call (502) 581-7222 (Center for Women and Families) for assistance.
  • The UofL Counseling Center is available during normal business hours to provide mental health services to Cardinals. Call (502) 852-6585 for assistance.
  • The Title IX Office is available during normal business hours, (502) 852-5787.

Every Cardinal deserves to be safe on our campus. As a Community of Care, it will take action from the institution and from individuals to create the community we strive daily to be. We are encouraging our campus community to take the following steps to protect and support yourself and others:

  • Be an active bystander. If you think someone is at risk for or was a victim of sexual assault, check in with them and get help, if needed.
  • Look out for your friends: walk together and make sure everyone gets home safely.
  • Listen and believe: If someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, believe them, listen to them, and provide options on what steps to take next.
  • Use the Cardinal Cruiser escort service by calling (502) 852-6111. Encourage your friends to do the same. ULPD already has provided more than 1,200 security escorts this year. Note: this service is available dusk until dawn. If you are feeling unsafe outside of these hours, alert a staff or faculty member you trust.
  • Download the free RAVE safety app for your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Make sure you’re doing, or continuing to do, the following:
  • Locking your doors and windows
  • Walking with friends
  • Using well-lighted walkways

We also encourage anyone with more information on the recent sexual assaults or any other crimes to contact the UofL Police Department at (502) 852-6111.

We care about the safety of each member of our Cardinal Community. Let’s join together as a Community of Care; please, let’s look out for one another.

Neeli Bendapudi

President

Lori Stewart Gonzalez

Executive Vice President and University Provost

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