UM officials talk about campus safety | ABC Fox Missoula

MISSOULA, Mont. – Four alerts were sent to students at the University of Montana this semester regarding reports of sexual assault, but the information is vague.

The University sends three different types of alerts; “Emergency Notifications”, “Timely Warnings” and “UM Alerts”. The four alerts sent this semester regarding sexual assault are called “timely warnings” and the University is required by federal law to send them.

Under the Clearly Act, colleges and universities are required to be transparent about crimes, including sexual assault, and while receiving an alert like this can be alarming, Sierra Ciafardone said she would rather know than not know.

“I like that they don’t hide it. They’re really open about it and that means they’re probably doing something about it, which I think has been a problem on college campuses. almost always, ”Ciafardone said. .

University of Montana Police Department Chief Constable Brad Giffin said the alerts are vague because the reports are about allegations, not arrests. They do not include the name of the survivor, in order to preserve their privacy, and they do not include the name of the accused, because they have not yet been convicted.

“So to print someone’s name like that, before they are actually convicted of a crime by a court, would be a violation of their rights,” Giffin said.

UM’s director of strategic communications Dave Kuntz said they were taking proactive steps to keep students safe, in addition to sending alerts.

“SARC, our Student Advocacy Resource Center, our Title IX and Equal Opportunity Office, these offices are more staffed than ever before. We also make sure that we publish reports on a daily and annual basis, so people can see how this campus is safe, ”Kuntz said.

UM officials said the purpose of the texts is to make people aware that these things are happening, so they can take precautions to be safe.

Ciafardone said she was grateful for UM’s transparency.

“I accepted it at this point. We all know it happens and it would scare me even more if I heard from students that it was happening and nobody did anything, [verses when] I receive a report. This means the campus is in the know and action is being taken, ”Ciafardone said.

You can subscribe to receive UM alerts by sending an SMS “Join UM-alerts” to 3089.

If you have any comments or concerns regarding the UM Alert System, you can contact the UM Police Department at (406) 243-6131.

For more information on UM’s SARC, Click here.

For more information on UM’s Title IX office, Click here.

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