Update on Security Measures and Beyond

October 14, 2022

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We are writing today to provide additional updates on the action steps we are taking to address anti-Black racism and harassment and campus safety.

We continue to review and communicate about security in our community. Last night, neighborhood watch volunteers witnessed an unknown individual who drove up to the traffic barrier at 8th and Park Street, exited the vehicle, picked up the barricade and threw it. The individual then made obscene gestures toward the volunteers and drove off. No slurs or verbal communication took place. Campus Safety and Grinnell Police Department have followed up. The volunteers were able to remain at a safe distance, made a report to Campus Safety and the Bias Incident Response Team, and have been offered support.

In response to a 10-point call to action posted by the Black Student Union, we will be reaching out to BSU leadership to discuss demands and our progress.  We will provide an update next week via an all-campus email and will continue to work with the BSU, SGA and other stakeholders to ensure that our actions are centered on the experiences of Black students, faculty, and staff.

Updates for today:

  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Safety Resources
  • Transportation, Escorts, and Personal Safety
  • Cameras
  • Community Partnership
  • Opportunities for Learning and Action
  • Sustained Response
  • Future Communication

Outdoor Lighting

The College has been able to obtain additional lighting units, which will be placed at East Street and 10thAvenue and on South Campus across from Cleveland between parking lot T and 1128 East. The units will produce a significant amount of light and some generator noise. Lighting locations will be assessed daily.

Safety Resources

Whistles and flashlights have arrived and may be picked up at the JRC Information Desk or at Campus Safety in Mears Cottage.

The InformaCast Safety App will be rolled out as soon as possible. Please monitor your Grinnell College email for instructions for installing and using the app.

Transportation, Escorts, and Personal Safety

During Fall Break, the Neighborhood Watch Program will convert to Campus Safety Escort; students can also request an escort from the Dean on-call by calling Campus Safety dispatch at 641-269-4600. As a reminder, Campus Safety Escorts are also available for faculty and staff.

For students remaining on campus over Fall Break, Residence Life Coordinators and a Dean on-call will be doing regular campus drive-throughs between the hours of 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.


An amnesty policy is being developed and will be shaped by consultation with students, faculty, and staff. The College will not actively monitor camera feeds and cameras may not be used for random surveillance. The goal of camera installation is to gain the ability to view footage in the event of reports of crime or harassment so that those responsible can be identified and held accountable. A proposal for orders is under review and vendor contacts will be made next week.

Community Partnership

Campus and Community members will meet next week and again on October 31. The goal of this effort is to enhance communication between the City of Grinnell and the College in the face of these racist acts, share information and witness accounts, and enact collective action to address racism.  Updates will be shared in the monthly Grinnell College Community Connections email newsletter and via campus updates.

Opportunities for Learning and Action

We are exploring additional opportunities for anti-racist training and pedagogy as well as trauma-informed response and for campus-wide conversations centered on anti-racism. We will collaborate with students, faculty, and staff regarding the timing and content of these opportunities. More information will be provided in future campus updates.

Sustained Response

Last week, Dean Montgomery and Chair of the Faculty Lindberg sent a message to faculty calling for consideration and understanding of impact for Black students during this time, which was subsequently shared with staff and students. Students are invited to reach out to Joyce Stern, Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising, for support and planning. Discussions of academic responsiveness will continue with Executive Council after Fall Break.

Future Communication

We plan to provide updates on actions the College is taking every Tuesday and Friday for, at a minimum, the remainder of October.

Additional resources are provided below.

Anne F. Harris, President
Marc Reed, Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Resources specifically for Students

Resources for All

  • Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusionodei@grinnell.edu
  • Deanna Shorb, Dean of Religious Life and Chaplain (24hrs via Campus Safety) 641-269-4981 or shorb@grinnell.edu  at the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice (CRSSJ -913 8th Ave)
  • Grinnell College Title IX Coordinator: Bailey Asberry, titleix@grinnell.edu.
  • Grinnell Police (24 hrs), 911 or 641-236-2670 
  • Campus Safety (Mears Cottage, 1213 6th Avenue.) (24 hrs), 641-269-4600 
  • Grinnell College Ombuds (JRC)   
  • Chinyere Ukabiala 641-269-9399 or ukabiala@grinnell.edu 
  • Conduct  
  • Dean of Students (JRC) Ben Newhouse, 641-269-3702 or newhouse@grinnell.edu 
  • Vice President for Human Resources (Mears Cottage, 1213 6th Avenue) Jana Grimes, 641-269-4818 or grimesjana@grinnell.edu  
  • Associate Dean of the College (Nollen House) 641-269-3100  

Anonymous Reporting 

Resources specifically for Faculty and Staff 

  • You, and your family members, can access counseling support through Employee and Family Resources.   
  • University of Iowa Telepsychology Training Clinic (TPTC) is open to employees Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Counseling appointments can be scheduled by calling and leaving a voicemail at 319-535-0437 or email scheduling@uitptc.com 

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