Jan. 7, 2014
To: University of Denver community
From: Robert Coombe, chancellor
The University is committed to maintaining a safe, welcoming campus where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. A number of incidents during the fall quarter, including dangerous alcohol abuse, sexual assaults, and a hurtful message written in a residence hall mirror are of great concern. We investigate all such incidents following University policy and legal requirements. The details of these investigations are private, but our message is clear and public: the University of Denver will not tolerate the behaviors of those who perpetrate harm upon others. These behaviors include dangerous abuse of substances, sexual predation and discrimination.
The University is by law required to issue safety alerts to our community under specific guidelines and these alerts include reminders to community members of safety precautions. While it is important that we each remember and follow these precautions, we also have a collective responsibility to ensure an open, inclusive and safe campus. On a broad scale, the University Administration has a responsibility to take action to prevent or mitigate threatening or harmful incidents. There are many units that lead in these efforts and everyone affiliated with the University is expected to follow published rules of conduct such as the Honor Code and our equal opportunity policies. We also share responsibility for the safety and security of one another. We have recently seen examples of our students standing up for those harmed by hurtful language, and are proud of the way those involved took action for an inclusive campus and against behaviors that threaten openness and safety.
Student leaders are also taking action this quarter through DU’s “Be a B.O.S.S.” bystander intervention social marketing campaign. You’ll be hearing more about this campaign soon, but the message is one we can all take to heart: if you see something that you believe could lead to harm for someone else, don’t ignore the situation-do something. The “Be a B.O.S.S.” website offers some suggestions on appropriate actions, but always remember that if it’s an emergency situation, call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000; or for an anonymous tip, call 303-871-3130.
Please join me in taking responsibility for the safety, security and openness of our campus environment. This is an important and ongoing effort for all of us who are proud to be members of the University of Denver community.