August 25, 2019

Delegates’ Agenda safety presentation ignored sexual assaults, student says

University to replace Code Blue callboxes for better emergency communication 

Junior Lisa Adden said the safety presentation at Delegates’ Agenda ignored recent crimes including sexual assaults near campus. PHOTO BY HAYDEN ANDREWS

Presenters at Delegates’ Agenda reported Webster University’s crime stats were low, according to the 2011 governmentally mandated Clery Report. But junior Lisa Adden felt the presenters misrepresented the situation by leaving out more recent data — like the sexual assaults on and near Webster’s campus.

“If you are going to try and make a push for safety, you should look at the most recent statistics,” Adden said. “Even if it is not official, it has been posted.”

Delegates’ Agenda took place Thursday, March 21 in the University Center’s Sunnen Lounge. Junior David McDonald was one of three presenters.

McDonald said the reason recent data was left out was because it wasn’t a part of a complete Clery Report, as the data was so recent. McDonald added he does agree with Adden’s statement.

“We were told not to include it because it might be presented as an outlier that doesn’t always happen,” McDonald said. “Although I would have liked to report on it because it was near us.”

McDonald said Delegates’ Agenda did consider bringing up the recent data at Officers’ Summit. But he was told not to put it in the presentation by multiple students and advisers.

The presentation focused on lighting and access to buildings. While Adden saw these as solid steps, she said leaving out the assaults was a misrepresentation and a missed opportunity.

“I think these are good steps; I think they just missed that push to hit home with the administration,” Adden said.

University’s push for safety 

McDonald said the administration is already working toward making Webster more safe, and that his presentation was geared more toward keeping students aware.

“There is already a lot of activities going on with the master plan, but a lot of students don’t take the time to read it, or they read it and there is a lot of mumbo-jumbo jargon,” McDonald said. “This is just to tell students that Webster is still doing stuff.”

As an example, McDonald cited the fact that Public Safety is working on making every emergency call box on campus contact all Public Safety officers directly and immediately.

Dan Pesold, director of Public Safety, said in an email the Code Blue emergency call stations in front of the Emerson Library, West Hall and Sverdrup building will be replaced with Call24 boxes.

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