The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Campus Safety Summit addresses student concerns, safety improvements

Kiersten Riedford
Students share suggestions for making campus safer at Student Government Association meeting May 4. The meeting discussed university-wide changes in light of multiple assaults on DePaul’s campus in April.

DePaul University hosted a campus safety summit Thursday, Sept. 14, to further Designing DePaul’s vision for enhanced public safety amid mounting student concern. 

The university began planning the summit in Spring 2023, well in advance of last weekend’s robberies on the Lincoln Park campus, according to Bob Wachowski, director of DePaul’s Public Safety. 

The summit came at the insistence of the Student Government Association (SGA) after a registered sex offender attacked two students on campus last year. 

200 people registered for the event, and about 150 people attended, Wachowski said.

President Robert Manuel, Wachowski, and local Chicago law enforcement addressed the crowd before facilitators led break-out discussions about the prospect of making DePaul a closed campus–meaning swipe access is required for all buildings–and general suggestions about making the university safer. 

Wachowski told The DePaulia that public safety implemented several changes since last year. 

“We’ve put new lighting on campus. We’ve upgraded the call boxes in the two parking garages,” Wachowski told The DePaulia. “We’ve established the expansion of the shuttle service and the Vinnie Vans and that actually was a result of some open forums that we had over the past year and a half and input from SGA.”

After public safety and university administration review the results from the safety summit in the coming weeks, it will be easier to determine long-term versus short-term solutions. Wachowski said a long-term solution like making DePaul a closed campus would require more research and discussion.

Representatives from SGA attended the summit and are pushing for the university to implement faster digital public safety alerts and required swipe access to more campus buildings, among other suggestions, before the end of this academic year. 

Wachowski said Public Safety and SGA have a positive working relationship that has and will continue to produce concrete change. 

“The summit is not the end. This is just the start of listening, gathering all these facts and then coming up with a plan of what we need to do and listen to the community,” said Wachowski. 

Following Thursday’s summit, a report will be sent out to DePaul students, faculty and staff that incorporates feedback from the safety summit and a forthcoming survey for those who could not attend. 

The DePaulia publishes a campus crime report weekly.

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