Dear Members of the University Community:
In recent days, we have all received notifications of crimes that have occurred on or near the Seattle campus. As the notifications indicate, these are sent in compliance with federal law—the Clery Act—and also as a way to caution all of us that the incidents are occurring and that we should be watchful and especially aware of our surroundings.
Some of the events have occurred on campus and others have taken place in the community surrounding the University, where many of our students reside. In the minds of those intent on committing a crime, we represent an attractive target for robbery—of personal belongings, especially smartphones—and other property. Fortunately, thus far we have not had serious injury occur, though two of the incidents were frightful armed robberies.
I know that the frequency of these incidents over the past week can be a source of anxiety. It also raises questions about what we are doing to try to prevent such incidents from happening. Your safety is of the utmost importance to the University, and there are things we are doing to respond. We are significantly increasing our UW police presence and patrols in west campus and the surrounding areas. UWPD continues to partner with the Seattle Police Department in and around the University District to provide safety and regular patrol operations and is in regular communication with them about ways to work together. We can all be more aware of and sensitive to our surroundings and circumstances and take common sense steps to enhance our safety, such as traveling together after dark and exercising caution in using our phones in public. And we can enhance our security and well-being by looking out for each other as we move about the University District.
Michael K. Young