University of Wisconsin–Madison

Campus Safety

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the Parent and Family Program emailed the following message to parents and families as an update on campus safety. 

Badger and parents and families –

We’re writing to share a few updates regarding campus safety in light of recent events that you may have heard about from your student, in the news or through UW-Madison’s emergency alerts. Two arrests have been made in connection with the Computer Science and parking garage incidents. The City of Madison Police Department is currently investigating an armed robbery that occurred Monday night on Langdon Street.

Though these incidents are not connected, we understand that the nature of these crimes is troubling. We want you to feel informed and know our focus is on prevention, education and rapid response.

We appreciate your care for your student and our community and we value you as partners in supporting student safety.

Starting this month, the UW–Madison Police Department (UWPD) expanded its notifications to include certain areas just off-campus. These Off-Campus Alerts were created to keep the campus community better informed about certain crimes and emergencies happening just off campus, and to keep our community safe. UWPD also now allows a family member to receive alerts. To learn more about how your student can sign you up, read more from our October e-newsletter.

While we value the opportunity to keep you informed, we understand that increased messaging can also create the perception that more crime is occurring. Overall, incidents are not up in this semester.

Madison is the second largest city in the state of Wisconsin with a population of more than 250,000 people. While Madison is generally a safe community, crime does occur. UWPD is an active presence on campus, especially in the evenings, on weekends and in University Housing. They also maintain a positive partnership with the City of Madison Police Department and will increase their presence in certain areas if they know about specific issues.

It can be challenging to know how to support your student from afar. Today, students received information through a campus crime warning. A safety article will be included in tomorrow’s student e-newsletter, The Weekly. In addition, please consider sharing these tips and resources:

  • All students should exercise caution when traveling across campus after dark. Students should use SAFEwalk – a free walking companionship service available to all students, faculty, staff, and UW visitors. Call or text 608-262-5000 to request a walk.
  • Avoid wearing earbuds – especially when walking at night. If you must, only use one earbud so you can stay aware of your surroundings.
  • If you’re a bystander and see someone behaving in a way that seems suspicious, step in and do something about it. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe, call 911. We are a campus that takes care of each other.
  • Use and encourage others to have a companion or safe means of getting home – like a trusted friend, taxi/rideshare, or SAFEwalk.
  • UWPD is here 24/7 for our community and they respond immediately. They also welcome thoughts and feedback from students and families. Follow @UWMadisonPolice on Twitter for crime prevention tips, updates and blog posts from Chief Roman.

The Parent and Family Program is your resource. We are here for any questions or concerns that you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to talk further at 1-877-262-3977 or parent@uwmad.wisc.edu.

Kind regards,
Stephanie Benson-Gonzales and the Parent and Family Program Team