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A Special View from Gibson - Crime

Thursday, October 6, 2016

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Dear Tulane Community,

My plan this week was to write to you about tomorrow's groundbreaking for the new Tulane Brain Institute and the fact that DesignIntelligence Quarterly has ranked Tulane's architecture school as the nation's 14th best, and Dean Ken Schwartz as one of the 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016-17.

This news, however, has been overshadowed by two disturbing off-campus crimes that have victimized Tulane students within a span of days. As a parent and president, any acts such as these against our students fill me with rage and frustration, as well as a relentless resolve to continue to focus our attention and resources on keeping our students safe.

The Tulane Police Department is working closely with the New Orleans Police Department to bring the perpetrators of these recent crimes to justice. We are also continuing the stepped-up bicycle, vehicle and mounted unit patrols we began last month around the perimeter of campus. In light of yesterday's home invasion, for instance, we have added three additional units to patrol the university neighborhoods.

We also have officers in unmarked units and plain clothes policing the streets surrounding campus, while private security officers patrol the pedestrian paths TUPD has designated along Broadway, Willow and Freret streets. We continue to provide free after-hours transportation for members of the Tulane community via the Gold Zone, as well as personal escorts for students and all members of the Tulane community.

We are asking professors, counselors, parents, friends and all who know and love our students to urge them to make use of these and other resources. This includes downloading the Rave Guardian system, locking residence and vehicle doors, staying aware of your surroundings, reporting any suspicious activity and traveling in groups.

There is so much good to celebrate at Tulane during this time, including an academically gifted first-year class, our increased standing in U.S. News and World Report's rankings, achievements like the ones mentioned in my opening paragraph, and our winning football team. But none of these are as important, as highly sought-after or as valued as the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff.

Signature of Mike Fitts