Open letter to students

Dear Students,

We write to ask you, as students, to help the College by adding your perspective on matters related to campus safety; and to join a collective effort to make safety a priority.

Several principles can guide us:

  • Security and the substantial well-being of the members of the Bates community must remain a priority;
  • A positive sense of well-being, or of “feeling safe,” is also important and must be supported (recognizing that it varies individually);
  • It is neither reasonable nor possible to remove vulnerability, or to be “completely safe.” The substantial safety of the members of the Bates community must be a highest priority, balanced with the maintenance of an open and accessible community.

With the support of students, faculty, staff, and the Board of Trustees, specific steps or strategies are being implemented:

  • An electronic access system will be put into place; implementation will begin as soon as possible and will carry into the fall;
  • Increased security patrols on campus, in campus buildings, and in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus;
  • Increased availability of self-defense training;
  • Increased availability of safe-walk and safe-ride programs;
  • ID cards must be presented when in academic buildings after working hours;
  • Campus phones are being placed on buildings combining capacity for emergency calls and phone access to rooms;
  • Off-campus students are being provided enhanced phone messaging and student network access.

In addition to these steps taken by the College, student practices that put others at risk (e.g., leaving doors propped) must be changed. Changing these practices will not destroy the important open culture we enjoy; nor will they negatively affect positive interactions with those in the community who are not members of the campus.

Your leadership, as students, in doing those things that increase awareness of individual safety is essential; we call upon you to help ensure that Bates remains a safe and productive environment.

Thank you for your thoughts, and please note that there will be opportunities during Short Term 2002 to gather your input regarding these matters, especially regarding an electronic access system. Students are, from the beginning, a part of the planning and implementation process.

With sincere regards,

Donald W. Harward       F. Celeste Branham       Larry Johnson

President                       Dean of Students            Director of Security

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