CHANCELL-ING: Safety First, on Campus and in the Community

Person walks past blue emergency call station among redwood trees.
UC Davis has 23 of these “blue light” emergency call stations on the Davis campus. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

With so much strife both in the world and locally, it’s essential that UC Davis and the city of Davis focus on community and safety.

Blue graphic of Chancellor Gary S. May with text: Gary May Chancell-ing. A town-gown newspaper column.

At UC Davis, the safety of our students, faculty and staff is an ongoing priority that extends beyond campus boundaries. We strive to create an atmosphere where people can comfortably live, work, learn and play.

I continue to listen to the concerns of the UC Davis community regarding their well-being. Today I want to update you about measures UC Davis has in place and continues to advance to enhance our campus’ safety practices.

Campus safety measures

Our Campus Safety Oversight Committee comprises students, faculty and staff, and meets quarterly to new initiatives and existing policies and procedures. Based on feedback from the committee, we’ve upgraded lighting in poorly lit areas of campus over the last year. We’ve also expanded foot patrols by campus police and other security personnel.

Our free Safe Rides service runs each night, offering transportation from campus to any location in the city of Davis, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. nightly. This is a key resource for individuals or small groups.

Our 22 “blue light” emergency call boxes are also located throughout the campus core and the Arboretum. In an emergency, users can push a button on these boxes to connect with a police dispatcher. Video cameras are also located on top of the box to help respond to emergencies.

At the start of this fall quarter, UC Davis also published safety tips and I urged our community to embrace them. That includes using the “buddy system” when out and about at night and always be alert of your surroundings.

Statistically, UC Davis remains a campus with low crime rates.

At the same time, we are determined to take additional steps for our community. We’re investing $20 million dollars over the next few years to improve the quality and quantity of outdoor lighting, video cameras and Aggie Access, our card reader program.

Spaces for communities

Meanwhile, I recognize the stresses of these times and the importance of processing spaces. These are opportunities for communities to come together in safe and welcoming place to support one another, reflect and process. They have been hosted by various campus units including the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Health and Counseling Services and Student Affairs.

In recent months, UC Davis hosted a virtual Solidarity Circle where participants could share compassion and connection. A Lantern Ceremony was also held on UC Davis’ Memorial Union patio as a symbol of togetherness, reconciliation and hope. Places of support can also be found on campus at our Academic and Staff Assistance Program and the student-centered Community Resource and Retention Centers.

I remain optimistic that better days are ahead, especially with a Davis community that’s known for compassion and kindness. We’re part of a community where neighbors look out for one another.

So, let’s remain vigilant while also being careful not to profile individuals in the process. I believe in the power of unity to make a difference.

Chancellor Gary S. May’s monthly column is published in The Davis Enterprise and Dateline UC Davis.

Primary Category

Secondary Categories