University Campus Escort and Police Services endure weather for a safe campus

Record-breaking 430 ride requests filled in one night by Campus Escort during first winter storm

12/11/2013 | By: Patrick Harris  |

The first major winter storm blew in last Tuesday, Dec. 3, blanketing Reno with several inches of snow. During these periods of inclement weather, the University of Nevada, Reno campus is kept safe by University Police Services and its student cadets, emergency alert systems and numerous buildings and grounds employees.

Safe rides and accompanied walks are provided by University police cadets and a student-run system called Campus Escort through the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN). While police cadets transport students across the University in golf carts on weekdays, Campus Escort runs a fleet of vans each day after sunset and takes students from campus to a residence within a two-mile radius.

Tasks like these are typical for Campus Escort; however, it becomes particularly relied upon when winter weather strikes.

"The last week has been incredibly stressful for the Campus Escort officers," Sandra Rodriguez, director of ASUN and the Center for Student Engagement, said. "In spite of the road conditions, the officers have gotten the University community safely to their desired destination."

In one evening, Campus Escort received and fulfilled 436 requests, a record-breaking number for these services.

"The Campus Escort staff has displayed tremendous poise this week," Christopher Partridge, coordinator of student engagement, said. "Even as call volume, wait times for rides and stress levels have all risen, these student leaders have not lost sight of their mission of getting people safely to their destinations. Students like Stephen Colombo and Denver Liu, who came to work an hour early the other night without being asked so that they could install chains on six vans and clean all the snow off for their co-workers, have risen to the occasion. Brian Fidelibus and Lindsay Yoshioka have sent out messages to the staff asking if anyone needs rides to work. Everyone has really stepped up their game - it's been an inspiring team effort."

Campus Escort can be called by telephone at 775-742-6808 or online through a service called RideCell. Police Services can be contacted at 775-784-4013.

"Safety on and around campus is of utmost concern to the University," University Police Commander Todd Renwick said. "We encourage our students and all of the campus community to take advantage of the many services and programs offered to them, such as our Campus Escort Service and Student Cadet Program."

Given an emergency or drill, immediate response belongs to University Police Services. The law enforcement agency, composed of full-time and reserve officers and student cadets has a strict jurisdiction to the campus and corresponding properties, such as student housing and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension properties. Their combined efforts keep the University safe 24 hours a day.

"A great way for individuals to be responsible and vigilant about their safety is to enroll for the free Emergency Text Message Alerts," Renwick said. "If a crisis is occurring on campus, or if inclement weather will delay or cancel class, a text message will inform students, faculty and staff, and keep them safe."

Students, faculty and staff can sign up to receive the emergency alerts to their mobile devices and emails. Notifications are also posted on the police department's Facebook and Twitter pages and the Police Services' AM radio station (AM1670). With these alerts, students will remain informed and aware of any situation on campus, no matter the season or weather.

During the holiday season, ASUN is offering a retail shuttle service from residence halls for students without vehicles to the shopping centers at Mae Ann Avenue and McCarran Boulevard every Saturday. This service will take place throughout the fall and spring semesters. The last day of Fall 2013 service is Wednesday, Dec. 18, also the last day of instruction on campus for the semester. Call 775-742-6808 for Campus Escort or visit their website.


For more news on the University of Nevada, Reno, follow @unevadareno on Twitter.

Get Nevada Today in your Inbox!