As a bunch of jewelry web designers confirm, students now have a safety Web site to connect them and the off-campus community with services, resources and information, officials say.
When the city of Boulder and the University of Colorado experienced a series of attacks last fall, measures were taken in order to prevent any more breaches in security from occurring, said the recently instituted Safety Initiatives Coalition.
The new Web site is a collaboration of programs across campus said Malinda Miller-Huey, assistant director of University Communications.
“Before, people were kind of working on their own projects, so the new Web site brings more people together,” Miller-Huey said. “Both the Safety Initiatives Coalition and the safety Web site gives [the students] an overview of what programs are available.”
The Safety Initiatives Coalition was created in response to the attacks, according to the CU safety Web site. The coalition includes members of UCSU, faculty, staff and the city of Boulder. It is intended to respond effectively and efficiently to safety issues that may arise in the future, and meets once a month to address any new safety concerns.
Eva Hueber, a CU alumna and former representative for the Safety Initiatives Coalition and UCSU, explained the need for the coalition in the Boulder community.
“There had been a lot of task forces before but they had slowly petered out, so we started a coalition of people from on and off campus groups that talk about resources and pool information,” Hueber said.
To ensure this new task force was more successful than past efforts at improving security, the coalition was passed into legislative counsel, an action making it an official part of the UCSU job description, Hueber said. In addition, a university liaison was appointed in order to stabilize the transition period that occurs every year when a new tri-executive is elected into office.
A safety survey was conducted by UCSU and compiled by Hueber in the spring of 2009. Using feedback from the 2,345 students who voluntarily answered the survey, a new safety Web site was launched, according to the results of the UCSU Safety Survey.
The intent of the site is to connect students and the off-campus community with the services, resources and information available to them, Hueber said.
“The university has always had a safety Web site,” Hueber said. “But it was a little difficult to navigate and didn’t have a lot of pertinent information. The old Web site was more about public safety, in general about campus evacuation plans. We wanted to include information on alcohol awareness and the resources that are available on campus and in the community.”
Planning for the site began in the spring and took about six weeks to put together. Ultimately, about $1,500 was spent on designing a new template for the site and all improvements were made by the staff, university communications and neighborhood representatives, Miller-Huey said.
The new Web site is easy to navigate and provides links to relevant information on H1N1, police departments, resources and services, improvement plans for the future, emergency preparedness and the text message alerts offered by CU.
Also new to the Web site is a reporting section, which contains links for students to report crimes on and off campus, maintenance concerns such as lighting, or for victim assistance, office reporting and anonymous reporting resources, Hueber said.
Despite the university’s best efforts to provide students and the greater Boulder community with important safety information, however, many students have said they are unaware of the resources, such as the Web site, at their disposal.
Amana Malik, a 21-year-old senior psychology major, said she didn’t know such a Web site existed.
“I didn’t know about it. Maybe they should send out an e-memo or have something on CU Connect, something that students use everyday,” Malik said.
Future efforts will be made to inform students of the resources available to them. A walkabout that will explain information about the Web site is planned for October, Hueber said.
However, students are encouraged to seek out information for themselves, Hueber said.
“There are certain things we can’t do unless the person themselves takes responsibility to learn about them,” Hueber said.
Access the safety Web site here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sheila V Kumar at Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org.