Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud, who early in his career served as a Supreme Court law clerk, offers thoughts on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Justice Ginsburg was among the most impactful lawyers and judges of our time….
Safety, Well-Being and Campus Engagement
Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:
This week, while many of our students, faculty and staff are away from campus for fall break, our primary focus is to ensure our campus feels safe and is safe when classes resume on Monday, Dec. 2. That’s why today I want to update you on three critically important areas of work we are making sure to complete before our full community returns to campus: safety, student well-being and campus engagement.
Overwhelmingly, the chief concern among our campus community is safety. Before fall break began, we increased campus security by:
- doubling the scale and scope of Department of Public Safety patrols;
- increasing DPS patrols on and adjacent to campus;
- enlisting Syracuse Police and New York State Police to assist with patrols on and off campus;
- adding walking escorts and shuttles; and
- seeking and receiving the assistance and support of the FBI, New York State Police and others.
When our community returns from fall break, the following additional measures will be in place:
- immediate deployment of 19 new residential community safety officers spread across multiple residence halls, including but not limited to Day Hall, Flint Hall and the Brewster-Boland-Brockway (BBB) complex; the University will also continue its work to hire 90 residential community safety officers, all of whom will be in place at the start of the spring semester;
- installation of new security cameras in strategic locations with a focus on stairwells, elevators, exterior locations and common spaces; and
- DPS officers will continue to work increased shifts while classes are in session, doubling their presence.
We recognize this has been a very difficult time for many in our campus community. Therefore, the following enhanced resources are available in support of our students’ well-being:
- The Barnes Center at The Arch is available 24/7 for support at 315.443.8000.
- We have doubled the availability of health, wellness and counseling professionals available during drop-in hours at the Barnes Center. Drop-ins are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, in the counseling suite on the third floor.
- The following offices remain available for drop-ins and small group discussions, with hours extended to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday:
- Cultural Centers’ Suite, 548 Bird Library (Office of Multicultural Affairs, Disability Cultural Center and LGBT Resource Center)
- Center for International Services, 310 Walnut Place
- Dean of Students Office, 306 Steele Hall (a staff member will be located in the Cultural Centers’ Suite from 5 to 8 p.m.)
- Monday through Friday the weeks of Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, health promotion staff, including peer educators, will be hosting de-stress activities in Bird Library and other locations across campus.
- We are expanding hours and offering availability for support in the schools and colleges through partnerships with the School of Social Work, the Department of Psychology and the Hendricks Chapel chaplaincies.
- Hendricks Chapel chaplains remain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide comfort and care.
Our campus has experienced hateful acts in recent weeks. The fear they have caused has been exacerbated by misinformation and unverified reports. The University must engage with our community in a more timely, effective and transparent manner. As such, the following steps will be in place by Sunday, Dec. 1:
- Introduce a new Department of Public Safety web page, aggregating all safety updates on a single platform. This page will be continuously updated and accessible by students, faculty, staff, parents and other community members. Hate speech and other bias-related incidents will be posted to this page within 48 hours but likely much sooner. This page will be the best source of accurate and reliable information moving forward.
- A new “Campus Commitment” webpage is now live and will feature regular updates about concrete progress toward the commitments made to our community over the last several weeks.
- Faculty, staff and I are continuing to meet with multiple student groups through fall break. My team and I have begun immediate implementation of many of the recommendations and will be working closely with students to address concerns in a quick and effective manner.
The work outlined above represents progress, but much work remains to be done. I must also respect and thank the hundreds of students, faculty and staff who have contributed to hard work and advanced real progress on these issues in recent years.
We will be reporting further on this most vital work as our full community returns next week.
Chancellor and President