Students and staff feel safe on campus

Code Blue Phone
A Code Blue emergency phone is located in student parking on campus. · photo by Vinnie Oestreich.

On-campus shootings have been an unfortunate reality in campuses across the nation. However, students and staff at UW-Fox Valley generally don’t call for tighter security.

Bill Bultman, associate dean for academic affairs at UW-Fox Valley, maintained that on-campus crime is nonexistent, statistically speaking.

“You’ll see in the security report that UW-Fox routinely has zeros in any on-campus crime reporting. As an objective measure of security, you can’t get much better.  That doesn’t ensure that nothing bad is going to happen in the future. When specific situations arise, we keep students informed by email and other means,” Bultman said.

Security measures such as the on-campus Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) identify potentially dangerous situations and keep students safe.

Many students simply don’t feel endangered on campus.

“It could be a lot stricter. There could be, like, metal detectors by all the doors but that’d be kind of crazy,” Emily Gyrion, freshman, said.

Many other students had similar answers.

“The Fox Valley is one of the safest communities you could possibly be in,” Freshman Seth Hammen said.

Sophomore Anna Woerishofer agreed.

“I’ve never felt unsafe,” Woerishofer said.

Anna VanderLinden, another freshman at the campus, agreed that she has never felt unsafe on campus.

UW-Fox Valley sophomore Amanda Reyes doubted the possibility of danger in such a small college town.

“It’s a pretty small campus. It’s unlikely anything will happen here,” Reyes said.

Large campuses, such as UW Madison, include farther distances to walk at night and a greater number of students. As such, UW Madison’s security is includes methods such as keycards to grant access to certain areas of the campus, Code Blue emergency phones to alert the police, campus security patrolling routes and a “safe walk” service in which campus security escorts students home.

Bultman continued to stress that security is a shared responsibility on campus.

“Keep your eyes open and wits about you. If you see something suspicious, report it to someone.  If it’s happening currently, report it by calling 911 right away.  If it’s a longer-term issue, talk to someone on staff.  That’s part of why that BIT group exists, to take input from many sources and figure out how to act on it,” Bultman said.

BIT focuses on learning the surroundings—including the people in them—so students can be aware when something changes and take the necessary actions that follow.

Changes to be aware of include dramatic changes in a peer’s emotions, actions, appetite and reactions to stressful situations.

According to an email from Bultman, the BIT will undergo organizational changes this summer. Developments are currently in an inception stage, and an institution plan is in development.

Information on staying safe both on and off campus can be found on the school’s website, along with information on the BIT group and its members.