Office of the President

February 4, 2021

The safety of our community is our highest priority

Ana Mari Cauce

Support and resources

Service to connect anyone with concerns about safety with the right resources

Confidential advocates
For individuals who have experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or stalking and who need information about what to do next

Counseling & mental health services
Individual and group counseling is available to students as well as 24/7 counseling and crisis support through My SSP

Title IX Office

The health and safety of our students, staff, faculty and academic personnel is our University’s highest priority, which is why we were the first major university to move our classes primarily online almost a year ago. None of us can do our best work when we do not feel secure or are anxious about safety. Fears and anxiety can also affect our students’ concentration and ability to fully engage with their studies. Concerns about safety can be especially heightened for female, female-presenting, transgender and gender-nonbinary students and community members, who are more likely to be targeted by perpetrators of sexual assault, a crime that can have a long-term impact on one’s sense of self, safety and well-being. In light of the recent criminal incidents in the neighborhood surrounding our Seattle campus, we are urging faculty and staff to be especially flexible and accommodating to students from the communities most affected. We also want to make sure everyone is aware of the resources available to support students and all members of our UW community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how all of us are teaching, learning and working. With far fewer students, employees and visitors on campus, the neighborhood surrounding our Seattle campus looks and feels different from the normally vibrant University District. We are all looking forward to a return to in-person learning and the rich sense of community that is usually the hallmark of our campus and its environs, but regardless of whether we are remote or in-person, the University of Washington will continue to do everything possible to keep our community safe and secure.

Our UW Office of Student Life and the UW Police Department work together to offer a number of services and resources to protect and support the UW community. Students and any members of the UW community on or near campus can make use of Husky NightWalk, a free nighttime service that provides a walking escort to campus locations and the surrounding streets, including the residential area north of 45th Street. UW community members should also download the Safe Zone App, a UWPD service that provides direct access to the fastest possible safety assistance both on and off campus, including connecting the user to local emergency services if they are outside the UWPD’s jurisdiction. And we hope everyone subscribes to UW Alert, which informs the campus community during emergency and public safety situations, in addition to our mandatory notifications under the federal Clery Act. UWPD is deeply invested in keeping people safe and building trust within our community, including making sure that that the desire for safety does not result in racial profiling or the unfair surveillance or targeting of our BIPOC communities. Follow UWPD on Facebook where they regularly schedule events with our community, such as “Coffee with a Cop.”

The UW also offers a wide range of resources for students and community members who need support, including when someone has experienced sexual assault or misconduct. Anyone with a safety concern – for themselves or someone else – should contact UW SafeCampus, the University’s violence prevention and response program. All of us share responsibility for keeping each other safe and caring for each other, especially through this difficult period, and our University is working to ensure that the right resources and safeguards are in place to keep our community as safe as possible.

Our University community is part of the city of Seattle and must deal with the same conditions and challenges that affect our city as a whole, including crime. UWPD’s primary jurisdiction is limited to campus but will be collaborating with the Seattle Police Department as necessary to help keep our off-campus community members safe, including providing support in situations involving UW students in the neighborhood north of 45th Street. Our goal is to protect the safety and well-being of all members of our community. If you haven’t already, please take this survey about what changes might improve our safety protocols.

We have also been in touch with members of the Seattle City Council, including Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who represents the University District, and Council President Lorena González, about the need for increased security in the neighborhoods adjacent to our campus. Together with Vice President for Student Life Denzil Suite and other campus leaders, we will continue to work with our city’s leadership to help keep our community safe. If you have questions about the city’s approach to safety measures, we encourage you to reach out to the City Council and Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office.

Feeling safe and secure in our homes and communities is fundamental to our ability to work, thrive and enjoy our lives, especially during these already difficult times. While there is no way to completely eliminate risk, as a community and as an institution we can and will do our utmost to ensure safety and security for all of us, and to cultivate a community in which we care for each other and ourselves.