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Safety is always a concern, especially when your child is living away from home for the first time. And it can seem like the world gets more dangerous with each passing day. Fortunately, St. Edward’s is a small, supportive, close-knit community — and we’ve built a strong system to keep our campus safe, both on a day-to-day basis and in case an emergency comes up.

UPD Officer talking with student on campusAlthough everyone at the university plays a role in maintaining our safe campus, the Office of Campus Safety coordinates crime prevention and emergency planning at St. Edward’s. The Campus Safety team is led by dedicated professionals specializing in campus safety and campus resilience. It also includes law enforcement on campus (University Police Department, or UPD) as well as telecommunications professionals.

“Safety is a shared responsibility,” says Scott Burnotes, assistant vice president of Campus Safety. “That means all members of our campus community are encouraged to work in partnership with the Office of Campus Safety by reporting suspicious activity, being aware of emergency procedures and conducting daily activities in ways that support the efforts of Campus Safety staff members. Working together yields a more collaborative, focused and successful crime-fighting team.”

Lisa Kirkpatrick, vice president of Student Affairs, agrees on the importance of community involvement. “While we engage students in campus safety education, what we know is most effective is cultivating an ethic of care and a level of confidence that compels students to look out for one another and to be aware of their environment, both on and off campus,” she says. “We are excited to see leadership emerge within the student body — this is where the most impactful and positive change can be made.”

Here are just some of the safety precautions in place at St. Edward’s:

  • Entry to residence halls is protected by swipe cards.
  • Resident assistants (RAs) monitor activities inside residence halls.
  • UPD officers patrol campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Self-defense classes are offered every semester.
  • Lights and emergency call boxes can be found across campus.
  • The Topper Text communication system keeps everyone up to date during emergencies.
  • Emergency preparedness drills keep the Campus Safety team and the university ready to deal with unexpected situations in classrooms, in residence halls or elsewhere on campus.
  • Crisis response plans are maintained for all emergencies (whether natural, such as a weather emergency, or man-made).
  • Open and concealed carry are not permitted on campus.

By Lauren Liebowitz