Campus Update: Security Measures and Mobilization Against Racism

October 18, 2022

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We are writing today to provide updates on Grinnell College’s actions to increase security and mobilize our campus and community against racist vandalism and harassment.  These updates will continue each Tuesday and Friday, at least through the end of October.

Campus partners and teams are working hard to make progress on immediate steps.  Longer-term actions will need more lead time, consultation, and collaboration.  We will keep the community informed as the work continues.

This message covers:

  • Reporting an Incident
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Outdoor Security Cameras and Amnesty Policy
  • Security app
  • Self-defense and Emergency Kits
  • Evening Transportation and Monitoring
  • Availability of Black Counselors

Reporting an Incident

As announced yesterday in the public statement issued by the City of Grinnell and the College we are working with local law enforcement to hold those responsible accountable. Timely reporting can contribute effectively to holding the individuals responsible for racist harassment and vandalism accountable.

Here are actions you can take: 

  1. Report racist harassment and vandalism to Grinnell Police at 641-623-5602 or 911. 
  2. Call the Grinnell Police department at the same number if you know the individual(s) involved.
  3. Photograph license plate numbers of vehicles harassing citizens to give to police.
  4. Enroll in bystander intervention training by leaving your contact information at 641-269-3407.  Bystander information training provides resources for intervening when you witness casual racism or racist harassment.
  5. Report any incidents to the Bias Incident Response Team (reports may be anonymous).

Outdoor Lighting

The lighting committee will reconvene prior to the end of October, with a charge to assess lighting needs on campus. The committee will focus on areas along Park Street that were already underway for improvements. Temporary supplemental lighting will remain in place through the end of the semester, at a minimum.

Outdoor Security Cameras and Amnesty Policy

Outdoor camera locations are being assessed and purchase estimates are being obtained for camera placement.  The Division of Student Affairs will work with the Student Government Association to put an amnesty policy in place for immediate implementation when cameras are installed.  The policy will be reviewed and revised as necessary.

Security app

The college continues to partner with InformaCast to launch the mobile panic button feature. A technical meeting took place today to understand how to set up the mobile access for users, the geo-fencing and data privacy/opt-out policies.  Campus Safety, the Division of Student Affairs, and the director of emergency management and risk mitigation are developing the panic button protocols.

Self-defense and Emergency Kits

Whistles and flashlights have been purchased and may be picked up at the JRC Information Desk, from the Division of Student Affairs, or from Campus Safety in Mears College.

Evening Transportation and Monitoring

On call staff in Student Affairs are out and about on campus in the evenings, to assist Campus Safety with providing rides for students and being alert to campus activity. Campus Safety officers are positioned in areas where harassment has occurred.

Availability of Black Counselors

The Virtual Care Group enables 24/7 access to counseling services.  Students may select providers based on identity and area of specialty (e.g., trauma-informed).

We will continue to keep the College community apprised of new developments and the next update will be provided on Friday, October 21.

Anne F. HarrisPresident
Marc ReedInterim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion 

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