Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, April 22, 2019

Student group creates SafeWalk program to escort students home

The Coalition of American University Students (CAUS) launched a program this week called SafeWalk after getting approval from Public Safety.

Volunteers from the CAUS plan to form groups and walk students between Main Campus and the Berkshire or Avalon Apartments or along Massachusetts Avenue.

Organizers saw an increased need for security and safety, according to CAUS member Chris Litchfield, a senior in the School of Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences. Four students reported groping incidents while walking between the Berkshire Apartments and Main Campus late at night earlier this month, The Eagle previously reported.

“It was something we could do to directly help the student body, students who needed help and weren’t getting it from other places,” Litchfield said.

Public Safety offers the Safe Ride to Campus program, in which a student can take a cab back to campus and Public Safety will pay the tab, later placing the charge on the student’s account, according to Public Safety’s website. A student can also request to be escorted by a Public Safety officer by foot or vehicle at any time by calling 202-885-2529.

Any students interested in using SafeWalk can meet on the steps of the Kay Spiritual Life Center and leave on the hour, Sunday through Thursday, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Litchfield said the SafeWalk program will exist as long as people continue to use it. However, the CAUS is not opposed to working with Public Safety to develop a new program.

Possibilities for the program include training SafeWalkers in handling situations and safety, as well as extended hours for the program. Litchfield said suggestions for the program’s future will be discussed at CAUS meetings, which are held every Sunday at 2 p.m. in Hurst 2.

The phone number for the SafeWalk program is 202-885-3333.

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