Following recent incidents involving Ithaca College students in Downtown Ithaca, Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty and Bill Kerry, executive director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, are reminding students to be safe and aware of their surroundings.
In an email to the campus community Nov. 30, Prunty and Kerry said the college was made aware of two incidents that occurred on The Commons in which Ithaca College students were victims of assault. The Ithaca Police Department said there is no indication as to whether the events are connected or if they are a threat to the campus community, however, Prunty and Kerry said the events are a reminder to be vigilant.
“Ithaca College places the utmost importance on prioritizing the well-being of our students,” the email said. “We want to assure you that we are committed to working with local government and law enforcement to identify strategies to help create a safer environment for students not only on the Ithaca Commons, but throughout our greater downtown and South Hill neighborhoods.”
Prunty and Kerry included a list of safety reminders for students in the email including using the buddy system — staying with friends or a group, especially at night — and using well-lit and well-traveled routes when walking. They reminded students to trust their instincts and stay alert. They recommended that students not be distracted by their cell phones and instead be aware of their surroundings. Prunty and Kerry also reminded students to remember to drink alcohol in moderation as alcohol can impair awareness and judgement.
Additionally, the email encouraged students to download the Rave Guardian app. The app provides the campus community with emergency notifications as well as access to safety and support contacts and resources. The app also includes the Guardian Timer function where users can invite a family member or friend to serve as a “guardian” and virtually escort students to and from locations.
Prunty and Kerry reminded students that they can sign up for Swift911 messages through Tompkins County to receive alerts about local emergency situations. Students can also sign up for notifications from Cornell University’s emergency notification system by texting “CornellVisitor” to 226787. Recently, Cornell experienced a bomb threat and had part of its campus shut down because of a shots-fired incident that occurred near Cornell’s North Campus in Cayuga Heights. Ithaca College students can also receive emergency notifications through the Rave Guardian app.