Nov. 6, 2008
Rocklin offers safety tips in light of recent assaults
University of Iowa interim Vice President for Student Services Thomas Rocklin is urging students to take precautions in the wake of three recent reports of men assaulting men.
"I, and the rest of the university administration, are concerned about any threats to the safety of our students and to the entire Iowa City population," Rocklin said in a mass e-mail sent to UI students Wednesday. "While our University Police continue to work with the Iowa City Police Department to respond to these and other crimes, we urge everyone to be vigilant and to adopt practices to enhance personal safety."
Rocklin said that while UI and Iowa City police patrols downtown help to deter criminal activity, officers can't be everywhere at once, so safety must be a responsibility shared by students and other people.
In his email, Rocklin offered several safety tips:
--Don't walk alone late night or early morning when it is dark in isolated areas. There is safety in numbers; make it a habit to walk with others.
Rocklin said that if a person thinks someone is following, he or she should go to the nearest place where there are other people and/or where the area is well lit and -- if they have a cell phone -- call the appropriate non-emergency police department numbers: 319-356-5275 for the Iowa City Police Department or 319-335-5022 for the University Police Department. In case of an emergency, call 911. And be prepared to give the dispatcher as precise a location as possible.
"If you have speed-dial capabilities, program these numbers into your cell phone," Rocklin said. "And if someone tries to take your property from you, remember that your physical safety is more important than any material object."
Rocklin also urged students to avoid confrontations, verbal or physical, and to remain calm and walk away if challenged. He said he understands how doing so can be particularly difficult for some men.
On the other hand, he said, "Walking away from a situation that may lead to violence and serious injuries is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Be wise, and remember, safety is a shared responsibility."
More safety information is available via the University Police Web site http://www.uiowa.edu/~pubsfty/.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Rocklin, Interim Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students, 319-335-3557, firstname.lastname@example.org