Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Campus leaders team up with local police to promote off-campus safety

Campus leaders will team up with the Ann Arbor Police Department to promote safety to off-campus residents Friday.

The Division of Students Affairs, Department of Public Safety, Michigan Student Assembly, student volunteers and AAPD will go door-to-door in neighborhoods adjacent to campus to welcome student residents and distribute safety information.

This event is part of a new, student-led program, Beyond the Diag, designed to establish a network of off-campus student committees within the Ann Arbor neighborhoods where many university students live.

Residents will be encouraged to leave the lights on outside their house or apartment doors, walk with a trusted friend whenever possible, keep their apartment, house and vehicle doors locked at all times, and immediately report suspicious behavior.

“We want students to be able to identify with the neighborhood they live in and to create greater access to the many safety programs and resources the university has to offer,” says student safety assistant Josh Buoy.

Residents also will receive a Beyond the Diag welcome packet. The packets will include information about off-campus life and safety, tips for being a good neighbor, responsible party planning and fire safety information. Students also will receive magnets with late-night transportation information.

“Our hope is that the focus on of student neighborhoods will create a greater sense of community for off-campus residents,” says Laura Blake Jones, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs. “We want to get information out in a way that is organized, readily available and directly applicable to off-campus students."

Beyond the Diag will focus its first-year efforts in the Oxbridge and East Packard neighborhoods. Oxbridge is defined as the area surrounding the Oxford Housing complex. East Packard borders Oakland, South Forest, Wells Street and Packard. The program will expand into other neighborhoods over the next two years.

Other Beyond the Diag initiatives include:

* A Facebook fan page and Twitter account. These groups will be content-specific to each off-campus neighborhood. Examples include promoting good lighting, cutting back bushes and getting to know neighbors.

* Consolidation of all late-night transportation numbers. The new program, called SafeRide, pulls together the various late-night ride options into one convenient number. Students can reach the service by calling 734-647-8000.

* Creation of a new safety website that will direct students to important online safety information.