UMDPD commends Greek Life for Safewalk program

UMD Safewalk, created to provide students a walking escort at night, helps make sure the walk to or from campus is a safe one.

Safewalk is run by members of UMD’s Gamma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Alpha Delta Fraternity Sunday through Thursday night from 8 p.m. to midnight. UMD Transport Services members are now covering Friday and Saturday nights, running the same hours.

“We have two fraternity members and two sorority members on call any given night,” said Emily Schuh of Gamma Sigma Sigma.

Upon calling Safewalk, a two-person unit made up of one sorority member and one fraternity member will show up promptly, wearing high visibility jackets and carrying a nightstick.

“Usually one or two people per night call us for a walk,” Schuh said.

Using UMD's Safewalk service

While students have been executing these safety measures, the University of Minnesota Duluth Police Department is always ready to provide assistance if needed. Lieutenant Tim LeGarde at UMDPD applauded Safewalk efforts, and gave Safewalk credit for making campus a safer place.   

“Safewalk has added an extra layer of civilian enforcement, strengthening our presence on campus while not taking any resources away from UMDPD.” LeGarde said.     

Campus is normally viewed as a safe area, but incidents can still happen at any moment. Two sexual assaults and a robbery occurred within a two-week span last year.

  The Kathryn A. Martin library is a popular destination for Safewalk users

The Kathryn A. Martin library is a popular destination for Safewalk users

“Usually there are a handful of harassment calls perpetrated by intoxicated individuals each year, although on rare occasions more serious assaults or robberies have occurred,” LeGarde said.

The key to cutting down these incidents lies in advocating for programs such as Safewalk, according to Lieutenant LeGarde.  

“The more safewalk is known, the safer campus will become due to the amount of people enforcing and advocating for worry-free foot travel,” LeGarde said.

 

 

NewsConnor Shea