Greetings from the Office of Campus Safety! Since joining Hope College as Director of Campus Safety in 2016, I have been impressed by the caliber and commitment of the students we serve — your daughters and sons. I feel blessed to work in a safe and compassionate community, where students and employees genuinely care for one another.
This sense of community is one of the things I value most about my work here at Hope. In fact, service to the community has always been an important part of my job. In 2015, I retired from the Grand Rapids Police Department after 33 years in law enforcement. Today, I lead a team dedicated to the Hope community — staffed 24 hours a day, with officers and dispatchers always ready to serve. Given our responsibility to protect the campus, we are called to engage all members of the community — students, employees, families, special guests and visitors — and we’ve made it a priority to do that every day.
Parents and family members often ask me what they can do to make sure their student is safe on campus. Thanks for asking! Holland is a safe place, but even a well-earned sense of safety can sometimes lull us into complacency. I encourage you to talk to your students about their safety on and off campus, every chance you get. Not sure how to start the conversation? Consider asking your student these questions:
- Do you know the Campus Safety officer assigned to your residence hall? This year, every Campus Safety officer has been assigned a residence hall on campus. If your student lives on campus, they have regular access to a Campus Safety team member who is readily available to assist, support and answer questions. (And if your student lives off campus, they, too, can always rely on Campus Safety as a resource.)
- Have you noticed the blue-light safety phones on campus? Do you know when and how to use them? In the fall, Campus Safety began adding more blue-light phones throughout campus. At these phones, anyone can call for emergency services with the push of a button. Encourage your student to take note of the blue-light safety phone locations, and remind them that they can use the phones for any kind of incident, even for something like car trouble.
- Do you know what to do if you experience, or if you know someone who has experienced, sexual assault or harassment? These are difficult things to talk about. Thank you for your willingness to have the hard conversations — family support is critical for the success of students while in college, especially when the student experiences challenges. Students who have experienced assault or harassment have options, which include filing an online report or contacting Campus Safety (616.395.7770 / firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Office of Title IX (616.395.6816 / email@example.com). To review all the options with your student, see the list on the Title IX website.
- Have you updated your emergency contact information? Hope keeps your student’s contact information on file so that, in the event of an emergency, we can reach them. Your student can update their information by going to plus.hope.edu, clicking on “Personal Information” and then clicking on “Update Emergency Contacts.”
- Do you really need a car on campus? Though many students like having a car at Hope, they do not need one to get around the campus and the city of Holland. So, what do you do if you need a ride from one place to another on campus? There is a free shuttle service on campus during evening hours. And, after the shuttle ends its service for the night, our officers are available to provide escorts for students with safety-based concerns. Students can call Campus Safety 616.395.7770 for this service, keeping in mind that the wait time is dependent on officer availability. The college also offers a variety of off-campus transportation services for students, including rides to field placements and internships.
- Is your bike registered? A bike is a great mode of transportation (plus, parking is much easier!) The City of Holland requires that all bicycles used on campus be registered. Your student can register their bike online and pick up the registration in the Campus Safety office.
- Do you know what do you do if you see suspicious behavior on campus? If you see something, say something. Students shouldn’t hesitate to contact Campus Safety at 616.395.7770 or 911 if they observe something suspicious.
Do you have questions for Campus Safety? Please contact us at 616.395.7770 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your ongoing interest and support.
Director of Campus Safety