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January 2022 update

After a formal launch by President Cauce in December, the University of Washington’s rethinking of expectations and approaches to safety services for people and places is underway. This work is the result of years of listening sessions and dialogue about both the decentralized way the University approaches safety-related programs and policing, and it takes place in the greater context of the national reckoning with race and policing. It also recognizes that the ongoing pandemic presents further challenges for emergency planning and resiliency. While this project will have important near-term milestones, the reimagining work will be long-term; sustained and carried over the years to test potential solutions. The goal is to facilitate holistic planning, prevention, intervention and resiliency through a division focused solely on the safety of campus communities.

A holistic and accountable approach to safety must be responsive to the different needs and the different experiences — some negative — that various community members have had with safety resources and personnel. It must also consider experiences both on and off our campuses. In the near-term, the Campus Community Safety Project will focus on the reorganization of safety-related units (including how to support safety efforts at all three campuses and UW Medicine sites) and building a framework for how the UW better plans for, prevents, intervenes and supports recovery in a variety of situations. Consultation with students, faculty and staff is an integral part of the near-term and long-term work. In January, initial, high-level conversations were started with a variety of groups and key staff, including:

  • The Student Wellbeing Collaborative
  • The Faculty Council on Race, Equity & Justice
  • SafeCampus
  • Emergency Management
  • OMA&D Student Advisory Board
  • Tri-Campus Advisory Board
  • School of Medicine
  • UWPD leadership and communications staff

Thank you to all who shared your experiences and perspectives during these discussions. Additional staff discussions and wider-audience workshops related to this project are still to come. The Campus Community Safety Project homepage includes a feedback form (below) if you have thoughts or questions.