Campus & Community

New campus safety initiatives discussed

3 min read

A group of Harvard administrators and students met Friday (Feb. 6) with the College Safety Committee to discuss new campus safety initiatives and update them on investigations surrounding recent indecent assaults in the area.

The University has stepped up its efforts to ensure a safer campus in response to the indecent assaults that have taken place since November. The most recent incidents involved assaults on Feb. 6.

Safety tips for students, staff

Maps of the new designated pathways are available at and will soon be posted in all shuttle buses.

Shuttle buses will now run from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. At 3 a.m. a van will continue service until 7 a.m. (9:30 a.m. on weekends). From 3 a.m. the van will run on a fixed route: Memorial Hall, Lamont Library, River Houses, Johnston Gate, and the Quad Area. However, the vans will drop people off at desired locations within the service boundary. The vans may be summoned 24/7, and the call will be answered by a live person. The number is (617) 495-0400.

Specific shuttle departure times are posted at all house offices, libraries, dining halls, and on the Transportation Services Web site.

At Friday’s meeting, HUPD chief Francis “Bud” Riley praised his department’s work in investigating and assisting in the apprehension of at least one perpetrator to date (see related story).

“But people shouldn’t fall back into complacency. We still need to maintain a level of vigilance,” Riley said.

Among HUPD’s efforts to maintain vigilance and increase safety is an evaluation, in conjunction with Yard Operations, of the existing designated pathway system. University officials have created new designated pathways to cover additional routes throughout the campus and to ensure that there is adequate lighting and blue light emergency phone service.

Despite the additional police presence and additional lighting in certain areas, Riley still recommended a cautious approach.

“Students still need to exercise good judgment. I still would not suggest that anyone walk late at night alone,” Riley said.

In response to feedback by students, faculty, and staff, HUPD is also conducting an evaluation of its system for disseminating advisories. According to Riley, the department will issue two levels of advisories, depending on the severity and extent of the reported incident – one level will go to all members of the community, including direct distribution to undergraduates’ e-mails, while the second will be sent only to those directly affected by a particular threat.

Toward the end of February, specially trained escort teams wearing bright green vests and carrying police radios will be appearing on campus during the evening hours, ready to accompany solitary walkers to their destinations, said Paul McLoughlin, assistant dean of Harvard College.

Recruited from the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, trained by the HUPD, and funded by the College, the escorts will circulate in the Yard, River, and Quad areas from 7 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m., volunteering their services to unaccompanied pedestrians. The new service will be known as the Harvard University Campus Escort Program (HUCEP).

As of Feb. 4, the College has extended shuttle services to 24 hours, said Carl Tempesta, manager of operations for Transportation Services. After 3 a.m., a fully accessible van will continue this scheduled service until 7 a.m., weekends until 9:30 a.m.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to HUPD at (617) 495-1215.