St. Olaf to Install More Emergency Blue Light Boxes

St. Olaf to Install More Emergency Blue Light Boxes

May 3, 2022
Signatures: 482Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Liz Ryan

Addressed to: President David Anderson, Derek Kruse (Director of St. Olaf Public Safety), and Kari Hohn (Title IX and Equal Opportunity Director)

Due to the fear for safety on this campus and the fear held by many survivors who have put their trust in Title IX and St. Olaf, we now petition St. Olaf College to remain true to their commitment to student’s safety and invest in more Emergency Blue Light Boxes around campus to ensure that students feel safe and have easy emergency access to both Public Safety and the Northfield Police when needed. This system will provide students with a heightened sense of security and safety in an emergency situation by having easy access to help. 

While St. Olaf has previously taken steps to increase the number of public safety officers on campus, the availability of officers around campus - specifically the lack of officers in the parking lots, unlit areas, and around walking spaces on campus, along with delayed call answering times, is not proficient enough to create a sense of safety for students. The incident Saturday night (4.30.22) has increased fears and anxiety among students on campus who fear that the college is not taking their safety seriously. The response to the incident provided students with mental health resources but failed to address the ongoing sexual discrimination, harassment, domestic violence, racial discrimination, and racial violence concerns that many students have. During the event, St. Olaf failed to make use of its emergency OLE Alert system. Students present for the situation and those who heard through word-of-mouth before the message from the public safety director came out 3 hours after the incident were left scared and uninformed. St. Olaf attempted to minimize its role by addressing the issue as an isolated event and not as a result of the continued failure to address, follow up, and RESOLVE title-9 reported incidents. 

From St. Olaf’s Title IX website: “St. Olaf College is committed to a respectful, safe, and healthy environment and does not tolerate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct in any form. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, unwelcome sexual conduct or communication, rape and other forms of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. These behaviors are not only violations of an individual’s rights and dignity, but are also attacks on our college community and violations of college policy.” While St. Olaf’s statement claims that they are not tolerant of said behaviors, students who have been reported of these offenses, many multiple times, are still welcome on campus. Sadly, this is not the first incident of violence on campus that has resulted from a failure of the college to respond. Additionally, St. Olaf states that it is “also committed to promptly, impartially, and equitably addressing and resolving all reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. When the college finds that such behavior has occurred it will take steps to stop the behavior, to prevent its recurrence, and to remedy its effects.” Many reported incidents have NOT been properly addressed or resolved. The ‘behavior’ should not have to escalate to the point of violence before the school takes action. 


About Emergency Blue Light Boxes

  • Boxes connect students to emergency access quickly and efficiently
  • Officers are alerted to the exact location of the emergency
  • The boxes are highly visible and easy to locate
  • A high-intensity strobe light is emitted from the top of the box during an emergency call 
  • Camera relay is accessible during emergency situations
  • 92% of college campuses have Emergency Blue Light Boxes (Reaves, 2015) - US Department of Justice
  • Emergency Boxes work as a crime deterrent by crime protection through environmental design (CPTED)
  • Boxes serve as physical proof of campus commitment to safety and help create a peace of mind
  • Boxes equipt with Blue Alert® MNS have the ability to send mass notifications across campus alerting of the potential danger
  • Boxes have sensors that are able to detect gunshots and dangerous weather changes

While it is clear that there is much work to be done regarding St. Olaf’s mission to create an environment of inclusion and safety, the installation of more visible Emergency Blue Light Boxes would be a first step toward taking action to increase safety on campus. 


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Signatures: 482Next Goal: 500
Support now