UO boosts patrols, urges caution in campus neighborhoods

Campus sidewalk at night

UO President Michael H. Schill and UOPD Chief Matt Carmichael sent the following safety message to the campus community March 20:

Dear University of Oregon community members,

Late last night, the university sent out a campus safety advisory about two serious crimes involving UO students that happened recently in neighborhoods near campus within the Eugene Police Department’s (EPD) jurisdiction. We sent this information to campus as soon as we were able to confirm these incidents with EPD. These assaults follow a series of armed robberies and other crimes in recent weeks near campus that have shaken our collective sense of safety and security. They are of serious concern to us, as we know they are to our students, their families, faculty, staff, and neighbors.

There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our students. We are writing to share information about the steps we are taking to address off-campus safety, and to urge everyone on campus to take care of each other. We have been very impressed with the way our students and others have stepped up to watch out for their friends and classmates by taking extra precautions such as walking together and reporting suspicious activities. We are a community that looks after each other. But there are additional actions we have taken which we would like to remind you about.

It is vitally important that if you see or learn information about a crime or suspicious activity that you call police right away. Report criminal activity (such as a break-in or intruder, robbery, or assault) immediately to 9-1-1, or for non-emergency situations on campus, to UO Police Department (UOPD) at 541-346-2919.

While these incidents have happened off campus within the jurisdictions of Eugene Police, we are committed to working closely with EPD to investigate these crimes and step up patrols. This includes the following recent actions:

  • UOPD has added extra officers dedicated to patrolling city streets near campus. UOPD is working with the Oregon Department of Justice to install neighborhood cameras early this week. Eugene Police have extra officers in the area evenings and overnight.
  • EPD has substantially increased the number of patrols near campus and has pledged to coordinate with UOPD with respect to information and tactics.
  • UOPD has contracted with private security to provide four unarmed (non-sworn) security officers to patrol city streets near campus until further notice.
  • The UO Campus Shuttle has expanded its hours and is running 5 p.m.-1 a.m. daily. A 25-person bus has been added to the shuttle fleet to boost capacity.
  • The UO has developed a security plan to help students get safely to early-morning airport shuttle stops on campus, for those departing Eugene for spring break.

We also urge every member of campus to take action to protect themselves. Here are safety tips from the UO Police Department:

  • Students are encouraged to use UO Safe Ride (541-346-RIDE ext. 2) or Designated Driver Shuttle (541-346-RIDE ext. 1), or the UO Campus Shuttle (map.uoregon.edu/campus-shuttle), call a taxicab, or contact UOPD for an on-campus escort (541-346-2919).
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone in distress make yourself known and offer assistance if it is safe to do so, and seek immediate help from police or security personnel.
  • Every person and situation is different; survivors must decide for themselves what actions or responses are safest in any situation. If someone attempts to touch you against your will, you have the right to yell "NO" loudly, or do whatever is necessary to get the person to let go, and flee to a safe place and seek help.
  • When safe, try to remember as much as possible about the person's appearance and behavior. Regardless of what happens during an incident, you have the right to report the crime and to receive services and accommodations.

The UO provides extensive resources to students impacted by crime. The Office of the Dean of Students is available to ensure students can receive advocacy, counseling, medical help, academic support, and other aid. Here are those resources:

  • Survivors have a right to report crimes to police and have crimes investigated and/or prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.
  • Call 541-346-SAFE at any time or visit safe.uoregon.edu to learn about options and resources.
  • For students, a range of support services are available through the Office of the Dean of Students, 541-346-3216; uodos@uoregon.edu.
  • For students, personal counseling and other support services are available through the University Counseling Center, 541-346-3227 (available 24 hours);counseling.uoregon.edu.
  • For students, medical and sexual assault examination services are available at University Health Center, 541-346-2770; healthcenter.uoregon.edu.
  • For employees, the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, 541-346-3123, and Office of Human Resources, 541-346-3159, can assist in connecting to resources. 
  • Other community resources available are Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), 541-343-7277 (24-hour crisis line) or 541-484-9791; Womenspace, 541-485-8232 or 541-485-6513 (24-hour crisis line); and White Bird Clinic Counseling, 541-342-8255 or 541-687-4000 (24-hour crisis line).

Please, do not hesitate to reach out to any of the staff listed above if you need support or just want to talk. We have posted a list of campus safety information related to these incidents at dos.uoregon/help. We want our campus to know we are working around the clock to address these issues, to protect our community, and to restore the sense of safety that is a hallmark of the UO.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Matt Carmichael
UO Police Chief