Brian Aherne, Contributing Writer
The Office of Student Life (OSL) continues to emphasize the importance of safety awareness on campus in its latest campaign for crime and accident prevention at the University of Dallas. Dore Madere, director of student life, highlighted the importance of active student involvement in maintaining a safe campus.
“A safe environment is initiated and overseen by CSO and a dedicated faculty and staff, but it must be maintained and encouraged by the student body,” said Madere. “It involves looking out for others and being more than a bystander. If you are uncomfortable in a situation or see someone else in a potentially compromising situation, don’t think twice about calling for help.”
Madere stressed the importance of using common sense and self-control, especially in situations involving alcohol.
“Be cautious and realize that you are accountable for your actions. Controlling and monitoring your consumption of alcohol is important, as overconsumption can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening situations,” she said.
Madere also emphasized that students should exercise caution going to the nearby DART station.
“The DART, while a wonderful thing, has made our campus more accessible to the outside world. Be a conscientious passenger. If you arrive back at the University of Dallas station and feel threatened or are made uncomfortable by any fellow passengers, do not hesitate to call CSO for an official escort back to campus.”
While John Plotts, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, admitted that the DART has increased safety risks on campus, he emphasized that to date that risk has been much less than anticipated.
“We did have an intruder on campus that appears to have come on campus from the DART last week,” said Plotts. “However, he was identified by an alert student, Campus Safety was notified and the Irving Police Department came and arrested the person.”
The OSL’s increasing emphasis on safety is not an indication of an increasing crime rate at UD, according to Plotts. He remains positive that UD students’ moral compasses are the greatest forces for crime prevention on campus.
“Each year we endeavor … to find areas for improvement,” Plotts said. “[Dore] Madere has done a fantastic job this summer rewriting our policies and procedures and in so doing found opportunities for us to better communicate with students regarding safety. It is our hope to offer students tips and techniques for keeping themselves safe in an increasingly hostile world. President Keefe has made a very strong commitment to the parents of UD students that we will do all we can to keep their children safe. What you are seeing with our emphasis on safety is our effort to honor his promise.”