Students can discuss safety at forum

By Drew Teague

With the recent string of robberies, Student Government and UK Police are coming together for a cause.

SG President Ryan Smith and UK Police Chief Joe Monroe, along with Robert Mock, UK vice president for Student Affairs, will be hosting an open forum on Thursday night to address people’s concern with the robberies.

According to a campus-wide e-mail sent out on Tuesday, Smith, Monroe and Mock will be part of a panel to which people can ask questions or voice concerns.

Smith said this forum is needed to help bring the attention of the situation to students and have a chance to reiterate safety tips.

“The idea behind it is to create an open forum for any and all students to come and ask questions, specifically related to safety on campus,” Smith said.

According to the e-mail, Monroe and UK Police want to focus on stopping future crimes before they happen by giving students “effective crime prevention strategies.”

Monroe said he wants to have a forum each semester, where he and the students can have dialogue. He said the recent robberies provided a great time for one on that issue.

“One of the initiatives I’ve been trying to do since I’ve taken over is to do one forum a semester,” Monroe said. “I think this is a timely time to do this one with everything going on.”

Smith wants students to come and give their opinions and offer their ideas on what SG and UK Police can do to help keep campus safe, like keeping the Safe and Free Escort for Campus Area Traveling Students program running.

“[It’s] an opportunity for students to ask questions about general practices, the best policies and offer suggestions on things we can do,” Smith said.

With the forum, Monroe said he hopes to end some rumors that have been popping up as well as tell students what he and the police department are doing in response to the robberies.

“The safety walk [is] next week to identify areas that we can have physical improvements,” Monroe said.

Around 30 people attended the forum last semester, and Monroe said he hopes a later time will help bring students and faculty out to voice their worries.

“I want to have a good open dialogue with the community to address what their concerns are,” Monroe said.

According to the e-mail, UK Police is making every effort to catch the individuals responsible for the five robberies around campus. The e-mail also said Monroe has started a task force with the goal of addressing robberies on and around campus.

Smith said he thinks students should take advantage of the forum, because students have a big role on campus.

“It’s a good opportunity for a back-and-forth dialogue between people that can have an impact on campus,” Smith said.

These topics and more will be addressed at the forum which will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the Worsham Theater in the Student Center.