Safety services protect student interest at U

by V. Paul

University students take active roles in campus safety issues, working as counselors, advocates and security escorts to their peers.
The Program Against Sexual Violence and the 624-WALK University Escort Service both provide anyone on campus with an added safety blanket.
624-WALK is a free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week escort service that operates on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Student, faculty and campus visitors simply dial 624-WALK (624-9255) for student security monitors to escort them from point to point within certain boundaries.
On the Minneapolis campus, escort service is provided between Como Avenue and Interstate-94 and between 27th Avenue and Interstate 35E. On the St. Paul campus, the boundaries are Larpenteur Avenue and the Transitway, the state fairgrounds and Chelmsford Street.
The service is operated by University Police.
Operating under the University’s Department of Student Development and Athletics, PASV is a student-staffed advocacy and intervention group dealing with incidents of sexual violence. Its offices are on the fourth floor of Boynton Health Service building.
Student volunteers provide telephone and walk-in counseling services to victims of sexual violence, their friends, family members and other individuals needing information on the subject.
Volunteers take a Women’s Studies course, WoSt 3200, to prepare for their role as counselors. The topic of the course changes every term and is also open to students looking for academic credit.
Counselors assist victims in filing legal complaints, meeting with law enforcement officials and providing emergency room advocacy for victims being examined in hospitals.
PASV provides peer education classes for students, faculty and staff groups to inform people of the nature and prevention of sexual violence. It also sponsors special projects and events to inform community members of sexual violence.