How Safe is Our Campus

November 21st, 2017

Over the past few months, many images of terrorist attacks and mass shootings have been distributed through media outlets across the country. These attacks occurred in many ally countries and in several states around the US. The perpetrators attacked locations with large masses of people including concerts, public streets, and churches among other locations using guns and vehicles.

Without knowledge of the most recent attacks, in June 2017 Gallop poll, they found that 38 percent of Americans were less willing to attend large events because of the fear terrorism. While these events of mass chaos have struck fear into many Americans the reality is that the chance of being killed by a terrorist in the US is very low. According to a CATO Institute study the likely hood of being killed by a terrorist is 1 in 39 million.

With these constant horrifying images filling media coverage, it is easy to question just how safe UW-Whitewater’s campus really is. However, UW-Whitewater Police Chief Matthew Kiederlen assures students and staff that campus overall is “pretty darn safe.” supports Kiederlen statement as on their website, they gave Whitewater an “A” rating for safety from crime. In the description, they stated that “the city of Whitewater has 31 percent less crime than the Wisconsin state average.”

Senior student Brad Miller and Professor Michael Betker said that they generally feel safe on campus and feel that UW-Whitewater is not at great risk for a terrorist attack. Betker believes that he is far more likely to die in a car accident or from heart disease which have higher death rates than terrorism. He said, “I do understand that students and faculty want to feel safe on campus, but I think terrorism is a buzz word that tends to cloud people’s ability to see the real risks to our health.”

Over the years UW-Whitewater, in collaboration with police services have made many strategic, tactical and facility changes. This was done in an effort to make students, faculty and guests safer while at class, work, or large crowd events. These changes include increased police security at football games and a special classroom door locking system to protect from active shooters in academic buildings.

Despite the fact that security upgrades have been made and many students and staff feel safe on campus, the university is working toward making additional changes to ensure safety for the future. One such project is the installation of bollards at the football stadium. These are security posts that restrict the size of vehicle that can get through the gate.

One way students can help ensure safety on campus is to report things that don’t seem right. Kiederlen said, “If it looks funny, smells funny, raises the hair on the back of your neck, report it.

The university and police services are actively aware of threat of terrorism and are constantly working to make campus safer. Similarly, students and faculty are not letting the threat disrupt or dictate life at UW-Whitewater.